FARMINGTON – The Western Maine Tax Assistance Program is offering free assistance in filling out tax returns at the Computer Center at the University of Maine at Farmington.

Local volunteers and University of Maine at Farmington students have been trained and certified by the IRS to offer free tax filing help and financial education. Last year, 99 federal tax forms were filed through the program.

Not only is the program free, but the tax preparers are trained to inform customers how to get credits for which they may be eligible. Other free services will include information about Family Development Accounts, money management classes, free credit reports and other services available in the community.

The Family Development Account works by using every dollar a person saves toward the purchase of assets, such as an education or career training, work transportation, a home or a small business. For every dollar saved with an FDA, an individual’s savings contribution is matched 2:1, and $1,000 becomes $3,000.

With the Earned Income Tax Credit, people can get as much as $4,500. Some families can get a child tax credit, too. Interested persons should be aware the dates of the program have changed this year, and services will be offered from Jan. 18 through March 3.

Anyone wishing to learn more may call for an appointment at 645-3764, ext. 5550, or toll free at 1-800-645-9636, ext. 5550.

The Western Maine Tax Assistance Program members include the University of Maine at Farmington, Women, Work and Community, Western Maine Community Action, Community Concepts, Coastal Enterprises Inc., Internal Revenue Service, Casey Family Services, Healthy Community Coalition, the United Way of the Tri-Valley Area and Franklin County Adult Education.

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