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Tax Season Underway - Some Good News for Working Families

February 1, 2007

February first marks the beginning of the tax season, and Minnesotans are being advised to take advantage of a benefit designed to help low- and moderate-income working families. Ryan Johnson with the Children's Defense Committee of Minnesota says the "Earned Income Tax Credit" puts resources where they're most needed.

"This credit has been one of the greatest anti-poverty measures that the government has ever instituted. It lifts millions nationwide, more than half of them children, above the poverty line."

Families are eligible for a tax break of up to $4,500 based on income. And, you don't have to spend any of it for tax help. Free preparation offices are opening statewide, starting today. Johnson notes that a lot of Minnesotans are taking of the advantage of the credit, and it's making a difference.

"In 2005, more than 255,000 filers claimed the "Earned Income Tax Credit" in Minnesota. And, this is almost 5,000 more filers than in 2004. That brought in more than $400 million into the state of Minnesota's economy."

The credit could provide a financial "safety net" for working families with kids.

"It'll allow families to meet basic needs, such as food, rent, clothing, utility bills. Earned Income Tax Credit helps families reduce debt, build savings, acquire assets. There are just a lot of benefits to working families that this credit can provide."

More online at (click "tax outreach").

Jim Wishner/Jamie Folsom, Public News Service - MN