News Release

Lifeline for the Empowerment and Development of Consumers, Inc.
PO Box 496, Painesville, OH 44077
Contact: Carrie Dotson | (440) 354-2148 | carried@lclifeline.org

Free Tax Preparation Help Available at Lifeline, Inc.

February 2, 2016
PAINESVILLE, Ohio— Did you know that you may not have to spend money to get your own money back?

For the sixth consecutive year, free tax preparation help is available to low-income families and individuals in Lake County. Lifeline, Inc. wants to help families and individuals meet their filing obligations, find credits they may not know about and protect them from unnecessary costs.

“Many people struggle with preparing taxes,” said Carrie Dotson, Executive Director. “Low-income people really cannot afford expensive advice to get the refund they should. We want everyone to know there is an alternative.”

In particular, Dotson believes Lifeline, Inc. can help many families and individuals who may not realize they qualify for the Earned Income Credit (EIC). The EIC is a federal income tax credit for low to moderate income working families and individuals. Congress originally approved it in 1975. Eligibility factors include how much you earned in 2015 and how many children you have.

“A lot of families are at a different place financially than they were a year ago,” Dotson said. “If they earned less in 2015 than they did in 2014, they might qualify for the credit but not be thinking about it.”

Even single adults and couples without children can qualify for the credit, although families with children receive larger credits. Earned Income and adjusted gross income (AGI) must each be less than:

  • $47,747 ($53,267 married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children;
  • $44,454 ($49,974 married filing jointly) with two qualifying children;
  • $39,131 ($44,651 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child; or
  • $14,820 ($20,330 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children.

Tax Year 2015 maximum credit:

  • $6,242 with three or more qualifying children
  • $5,548 with two qualifying children
  • $3,359 with one qualifying child
  • $ 503 with no qualifying children

“Millions of EIC dollars go unclaimed every year,” Dotson said. “We don’t want that to happen in our community. The low-income people of Lake County can count on Lifeline, Inc. for free tax help.”

Lifeline, Inc. uses volunteers trained and certified by the IRS through its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. VITA volunteers provide free income tax assistance to low-income, elderly and disabled people.

“Filing for the 2016 Tax Season is underway,” said Tiffany Menosky, Lifeline VITA Site Coordinator. “During the month of February, our office will be limited to filing basic returns, however in March we will be able to complete more advanced and complicated returns, including military returns. We’re looking forward to serving more Lake County residents this tax season—our calendar is filling up quickly, so I urge residents to call soon to book their tax appointment.”

Lifeline’s tax clinics have proved highly successful over the last six years. Through the tax clinics, Lifeline volunteers have prepared tax filings for nearly 700 residents, totaling $846,287 in returns and our clients have kept every penny of those returns. Our volunteers have logged over 1,800 hours in training and actual tax filing preparation.

Free tax preparation is available to residents who meet Lifeline, Inc.’s federal income guidelines. Clinics are available on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, by appointment only, through April 15. All clinics are held at Lifeline, Inc.’s Painesville office at 54 S. State St., Suite 309. Appointments can be scheduled by calling Menosky at (440) 354-2148, extension 231.

For more information, please contact Menosky at Lifeline, Inc., at 440-354-2148, extension 231. For more information on Lifeline, Inc., visit us online at www.lclifeline.org.

Lifeline for the Empowerment and Development of Consumers was founded in 1973 with the mission of helping Lake County residents by providing them assistance and life skills programming that is designed to increase self-sufficiency. In 1980 Lifeline became a participating agency of the United Way of Lake County, UWLC, and in 1987 was designated a community action agency by the Ohio Development Services Agency, ODSA. In 2008, Lifeline was designated as a mental health agency by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

Today Lifeline continues with the same mission of helping Lake County’s low-income residents break the cycle of poverty and make the transition from agency-dependency to self-sufficiency. Lifeline’s current programming includes services in the healthcare, housing & energy assistance, information & referral services and consumer education & job training areas. Our motto is ‘helping people, changing lives.’ Lifeline is currently funded by the UWLC and by grants through the ODSA, the Lake County Board of Commissioners, the Lake County ADAMHS Board, Lake County Department of Job & Family Services, the City of Mentor, the Western Reserve Junior Service League and through private donors.

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54 S. State Street | Third Floor | Painesville, OH 44077

Community Services: 440-354-2148

Energy Assistance: 440-350-9160