LEWISTON — The Internal Revenue Service Taxpayer Assistance Center at 217 Main St. will be open Saturdays, Jan. 29 and Feb. 5, for taxpayers eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit.

The office will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The expanded service is to help taxpayers who may not be able to seek assistance during the work week.

EITC is a financial boost for working people hit by hard economic times. Many people will qualify for the first time this year because their incomes declined, their marital status changed or they added children to their families. Families with three or more children get an extra boost with a larger credit this year. Workers without children also may qualify.

Workers can get their EITC only if they file federal income tax returns — even if they are not otherwise required to file — and specifically claim the credit. The average credit last year was $2,200. Anyone with earnings under $48,362 from wages, self-employment or farming in 2010, is urged to see if they qualify. 

Taxpayers can locate the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center nearest them by visiting IRS.gov.

Find a list of local offices, and days and hours of service, by state at www.irs.gov/localcontacts/.

Aside from IRS offices, taxpayers may also receive assistance at more than 12,000 free tax assistance sites nationwide. Taxpayers can locate the most conveniently located Volunteer Tax Assistance Site in Maine by calling 211 or 1-800-906-9887.

Those seeking assistance should bring the following documents: Valid driver’s license or photo identification; Social Security cards; dates of birth for all persons listed on the return; all income statements and documents showing taxes withheld; dependent child care information; prior year tax return if available; any other pertinent documents or papers.

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