Media Advisory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - January 16,2018                                                                                                           
Yasmine Shawwaf,  Worcester Free Tax Service Coalition Coordinator  
508-757-5631 EXT. 223

Ellen M. Ganley, WCAC Director of Development  
508 762-9807

Worcester Free Tax Service Coalition to kick off tax season
14th year of offering free tax prep services for low-income households
Worcester, Massachusetts - In conjunction with the nationwide Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day, the Worcester Free Tax Service Coalition will host a kick off for its 14th year of providing free tax preparation services for local, low-income households. The program utilizes IRS-trained volunteers to prepare tax returns for households earning less than $54,000. The 2017 Kick off will be held on Friday, January 26, 2018 at the NeighborWorks Home Ownership Center of Central Massachusetts, 138 Green Street in Worcester.

Friday, January 26th
9:30 a.m.
NeighborWorks Home Ownership Center,
138 Green Street, #4, Worcester

Among others, the program is to include remarks by Congressman James P. McGovern, City Manager Edward Augustus, Jr., United Way of Central Massachusetts President Tim Garvin, Internal Revenue Service Michael Desimone, UniBank VP of Government Affairs  & Worcester City Councilor Matthew Wally, Worcester City Councilor Maurice Bergman, WCAC Job & Education Center Director Carrick O'Brien, as well as volunteers from and past clients of the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program.

For tax year 2016, WFTSC served nearly 2,000 households generating more than $3.4 million dollars in returns, with an average federal refund of $1,849.

For 2018, four VITA sites will again be available:  Worcester Community Action Council, Inc. located on the second floor of the Denholm Building, 484 Main Street, Worcester; Main South Community Development Corporation located at 875 Main Street, Worcester; Community Builders/Plumley Village located at 16 Laurel Street, Worcester; and at Worcester State University, 486 Chandler Street, Worcester. Additional details about specific appointment times can be found at 

Partners in the Worcester Free Tax Service Coalition include:  Plumley Village,  Main South CDC,  Worcester State University,  Worcester Community Action Council, the  IRS,  WCCA-TV 194,  Assumption College,  Allcom Credit Union,  United Way of Central MA,  Assumption College,  UNUM and the  City Manager's Office of Economic  and Neighborhood Development. 

Sponsors for this season's initiative include:   MassCAP, the  IRS,  St. Mary's Credit Union,  UniBank,  WebsterFive and the  City of Worcester's Community Development Block Grant Program.

Additionally, the kick-off will coincide with the launch of a new program-- Bank On Worcester County, led by WCAC and funded by the Health Foundation of Central MA.  Intended to bring unbanked and underbanked individuals in to the financial mainstream, the program has established a coalition of financial institutions, community-based organizations, and local government.  Through the Bank On program, clients will gain access to affordable banking products and financial education at area financial institutions in Worcester and Southbridge.

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