PHI Supports Free Tax Preparation in Maryland, Initiative to help low- and moderate-income taxpayers claim Earned Income Credit
Thursday, February 19, 2004
Pepco Holdings Inc., the parent of Pepco and Conectiv Power Delivery, is supporting a three-year initiative with the Maryland Earned Income Credit Campaign to help make individuals and families aware of the federal and Maryland earned income tax credits. The credits provide tax relief and an income supplement for low-and moderate-wage workers who can use the funds to help pay for essential needs and services, including utility bills.
The Maryland EIC Campaign is coordinated by the Maryland Committee for Children in cooperation with a partnership of non-profit organizations, private business and government agencies, including the IRS, PHI, BGE, the United Way of Central Maryland, and the Maryland Department of Human Resources. PHI contributed nearly $160,000 to help to fund the campaign.
The initiative is focused on three areas of Maryland: Montgomery County, Prince George's County and the Eastern Shore counties of Wicomico, Somerset and Worcester. The Maryland Committee for Children, in support of the initiative, is sponsoring tax preparation sites, which are staffed with IRS-trained volunteers. These volunteers assist consumers by providing electronic filing, which reduces the amount of time required to obtain a refund, compared to filing a paper return.
At least 20 percent of eligible taxpayers miss out on the credit each year for various reasons. Some file the wrong forms. Others believe they have no reason to file because they don't owe any taxes. But EIC is a refundable credit and some individuals can receive money even if they owe no taxes. Many don't realize that they have up to three years to file for the credit retro actively.
Nationwide, more than 21 million families claimed the federal EIC for 2002, supplementing their collective incomes by $37 billion. In Maryland, 334,413 families and individuals claimed the federal EIC for 2002 for a total credit of $556 million. In addition, Maryland has a state EIC, which paid $116 million to 311,185 of these Maryland families/workers for tax year 2002.
This year in Maryland, the combined state and federal EIC can be worth up to $4,900 for a minimum-wage worker raising two o rmore children on a single income. For households with one child, the credit can be up to $3,005. (Maximum credit amounts will be different for D.C.and Virginia. However, the maximum federal EIC of $4,204 applies in all areas.)
For more information about the EIC and locations of free tax-filing assistance (available to families with household income below $35,000), taxpayers can call.
-- In Prince George's County: 301-772-8420
-- In Montgomery County: 301-279-1035
-- For the rest of Maryland: 1-800-492-0618
-- For Washington, D.C.: 202-463-6211
Pepco Holdings, Inc. is a diversified energy company with headquarters in Washington, D.C. Its principal operations consist of Pepco and Conectiv Power Delivery, which deliver 50,000 gigawatt-hours of power to more than 1.8 million customers in Washington, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia. PHI engages in regulated utility operations bydelivering electricity and natural gas, and provides competitive energyand energy products and services to residential and commercial customers.
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