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LU volunteers to assist SETX residents claim federal tax credits

According to Elton Payne, program manager for the LU Community Outreach Program, one-fourth of all eligible Texas taxpayers fail to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and other eligible refundable tax credits. These unclaimed credits reduce the Texas and Golden Triangle economy by an estimated $1.5 to 2 billion.

The Lamar University Community Outreach Program has assembled a team of trained students and community volunteers to assist qualifying residents of the Golden Triangle to claim these special credits, which include the EITC, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly.  Through the Community Tax Center Program, the outreach program is providing these services for individuals and families, students, senior citizens, as well as non-English speaking individuals at several community tax centers.

Trained volunteers from the community, as well as staff and students from Lamar, will assist those who may qualify for the special tax credits.  Volunteer tax preparers receive training and certification from the Internal Revenue Service. In addition to free tax return preparation assistance, the community tax center sites will offer free electronic filing (e-filing).  Individuals taking advantage of the e-file program will receive their refunds in half the time compared to returns filed on paper and even faster if the refund is deposited directly into a bank account.

Tax preparation services at community tax centers are scheduled to begin January 26 and will be available every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Services will be offered at the following sites: Downtown Beaumont Library, 801 Pearl;  Elmo Willard Library, 3570 East Lucas, Beaumont; Theodore Johns Library, 4255 Fannett Rd., Beaumont; Catholic Charities, 2780 East Texas Frwy., Beaumont; and Society of St. Vincent de Paul, 3730 Farm Rd. 160 N. in Raywood.

Walk-in customers are welcome.  Interested persons should contact Payne at the Lamar University Community Outreach Program at (409) 880-7983 for more information on site locations and times.