In Blog: Factually Speaking

The Michigan League for Public Policy has released the Tax Year 2015 edition of Money Back in Michigan, information describing the various state and federal tax credits available to low- and moderate-income individuals and families. This packet is used by agencies and individuals around the state that serve this population, but it is also meant to give everyone more information on the credits available to Michigan taxpayers.

If you work at a social services agency, please encourage your clients to claim the tax credits and exemptions they are eligible for. If you are an elected official, you can bring copies of this packet to events or distribute them to places where your constituents will see them. And if you are an individual taxpayer, you can learn more about the credits you or people you know may be able to claim.

While the League hopes that this will be a useful guide, it is meant to provide information about available low-income tax credits, but not to be used to give tax preparation assistance. If your clients, constituents or other associates need tax assistance, please direct them to a Volunteer Income Tax Preparation (VITA) site in your community for free services. The website provides a list of VITA sites in each county.

It is important that low-income tax filers be informed that free tax preparation services are available. Commercial tax preparers charge a lot for preparation and also encourage filers to take out refund anticipation loans that remove a large chunk from their Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or other refunds.

Moreover, many commercial tax preparation workers are not highly trained and can make errors. In contrast, VITA tax preparers receive a very high level of training directly from the IRS.

We hope you find this information helpful. If you have suggestions for future editions of Money Back in Michigan, we would love to hear your feedback!

— Peter Ruark

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