Tax season is now upon us and thousands of Ohioans are filing their 2015 taxes in hopes of a high return. To save taxpayers a little extra money this year, when individuals and families can use every extra dollar, Samaritan Outreach Services is partnering with the Ohio Association of Foodbanks to offer free tax filing assistance through The Ohio Benefit Bank.
The Ohio Benefit Bank (OBB) is an innovative online service that connects Ohioans with more than 20 work support programs and tax credits, including the Earned Income Tax Credit, child tax credits, and education credits. Ohioans can visit sites like Samaritan Outreach to file their federal and state taxes for free with a trained counselor.
Samaritan Outreach operates Highland County’s largest food pantry and provides a variety of services to area residents in need.
The average Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in Ohio is about $2,406, yet approximately one in six Ohioans eligible for the EITC do not claim it. Those unclaimed EITC funds mean that local communities miss out on millions of dollars that would have otherwise generated economic activity and growth. Clients using the OBB can maximize their return without having to pay a high fee to have their taxes completed.
“Free tax preparation helps local residents retain more of their refund, keeping more money in our local communities” said Cassy Lee, a Samaritan Outreach volunteer tax counselor.
The free tax assistance will be available to most families with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $65,000 or less. If clients choose to receive their return by direct deposit, they could receive their refund in as little as seven to 10 days.
Residents interested in making an appointment to have their taxes filed or to complete other benefit applications through the OBB can call 937-393-2220. Appointments are available Mondays through Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or at their evening tax clinic on Feb.24 at 6 p.m.
Submitted by Wade Hamilton, Samaritan Outreach Services director.