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United Way of Rhode Island, Raimondo to Host Tweet Chat on Free Tax Preparation Services

Tweet Questions to Learn About the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Programs

Providence, R.I. - As the deadline to file income tax returns quickly approaches, United Way of Rhode Island (UWRI) and the Office of General Treasurer Gina Raimondo along with community partners are turning to Twitter to raise awareness about the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance programs.

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is for people who worked and earned less than $52,000. There were 82,000 EITC claims in Rhode Island valued at $172 million, during the 2012 tax year. The average EITC amount was $2,100.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax preparation assistance to people earning $52,000 or less. There are more than 20 VITA sites representing community agencies that are certified by the IRS and use trained volunteers to offer individuals and families free tax preparation services.

In 2013 alone, nearly 9,000 taxpayers participated in the program-more than any previous year-resulting in more than $16 million returned to the state's economy.

"This is an exciting way to expand the dialogue about an important resource, particularly during these difficult economic times, that helps put money back in the pockets of our working neighbors," said Anthony Maione, president & CEO of United Way of Rhode Island. "Many Rhode Islanders are eligible for this free tax preparation service and we want to help them understand the options available-the money returned to these families will go a long way in stabilizing their household."

"As we look for ways to jumpstart our economy, we need to make sure no one is left behind," said Treasurer Raimondo. "This Tweet Chat is a creative way to raise awareness about the VITA and EITC programs, two programs that can be helpful to individuals and families earning less than $52,000 annually."

WHO: UWRI's Young Leaders Circle (YLC), Office of General Treasurer Gina Raimondo, Capital Good Fund, Family Resources Community Action, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and other community-based organizations

WHAT: Tweet Chat on EITC and VITA

WHEN: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 5 to 6 p.m.

HOW: To join the chat follow @liveunitedri, @GinaRaimondo, @cgfund, @FRCA_RI and @LISCRhodeIsland, and use the hashtags #EmpowerRI, #YLCAdvocates, #VITA and #EITC.

About United Way of Rhode Island United Way of Rhode Island has been working to improve the quality of life in Rhode Island communities for over 80 years. UWRI's mission is to mobilize the caring power of the community to improve the lives of people in need and address the issues Rhode Islanders care most about. For more information, visit www.LIVEUNITEDri.org.

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Related links

Department or agency: RI Office of the General Treasurer

Online: http://www.treasury.ri.gov/

Release date: 02-26-2014

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