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Legal Services Programs Join Forces to Increase Tax Benefit

Boost the Paychecks of Working Families and Individuals Western Michigan Legal Services - 02/12/2004

January 2004 – for immediate release---

The Michigan ICAN! EIC™ e-Filing Project and the Michigan Poverty Law Program announce the first annual campaign to increase local awareness about the Earned Income Credit (EIC) and the ICAN! EIC™ Program. The EIC can significantly increase the income available to working people in Michigan either by providing sizeable refunds or by decreasing the amount of taxes due to the IRS. The EIC is refundable, meaning that a household can receive a tax refund above and beyond the household’s tax burden. A worker is also eligible even if no taxes are owed. For example, a family raising more than one child in their home in 2003, with earned income less than $34,692, could get a tax credit up to $4,204. The average credit is near $1,700.

The Michigan ICAN! EIC™ e-Filing Project has created a new website,, where low-income taxpayers can use the free ICAN! EIC™ system to create professional, ready-to-file tax forms. ICAN! EIC™ is easier to use than an ATM machine. Using ICAN! EIC™, a person appears on the computer screen and asks questions in English or Spanish. After the taxpayer selects his or her answers, ICAN! EIC™ prints out their tax forms. If the taxpayer has their own email address, he or she can e-file their return for a faster refund. There are no charges for this service.

Other federal tax credits in addition to the EIC can benefit low to moderate income individuals. ICAN! EIC™ can help tax payers complete:

• Schedule EIC (for the Earned Income Credit)

• Form 1040, 1040A, and 1040 EZ

• Form 1040 Schedule 2

• Child Tax Credit Worksheet

• Student Loan Interest Deduction

• Child & Dependent Care Expenses (Form 2441)

• Additional Child Tax Credit (Form 8812)

• Education Credit (Form 8863)

In addition, some credits are retroactive and can be claimed after the normal income tax filing deadline of April 15. In order to receive the EIC, a federal tax return must be filed. Since using the services of a commercial tax preparer reduces the money available to low-income residents, the Michigan ICAN! EIC™ e-Filing Project is promoting ICAN! EIC™ and other free taxpayer assistance programs.

For more information about ICAN! EIC™ , free e-filing and taxpayer assistance sites, and outreach materials on the EIC and other federal and state tax credits, go to

This press release was developed with the assistance of Kalamazoo-St. Joseph Michigan Works! and adapted for use in Michigan by Erica Tobe, Associate Program Leader, Michigan State University Extension. MSU is an affirmative action/equal opportunity institution. MSU Extension programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs

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