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Free tax prep sites!

I’ve been reading David Shipler lately, who devotes a chapter of his 2004 book to the perils of tax season: Starting in January, thousands flock to the tax preparers who set up shop in low-income neighborhoods and charge fees to those who really should be able to do their own taxes for free. Many people don’t even know they can get a check from the government in the form of the earned income tax credit—as long as they file taxes in the first place.

For the last decade or so, the D.C. Earned Income Tax Credit campaign has been working to educate lower income earners about how to do taxes themselves and then reap the rewards they’re due. This year, there are six sites in D.C. where individuals who make less than $22,000 per year can go their taxes prepared for free by trained volunteers, open at different days and times. On top of that, there’s a free tax preparation and financial services fair at the Convention Center at the end of February, and if you’re the starving artist type, Cultural Development Coporation is offering a tax prep workshop tomorrow morning (register by today at 5:00 p.m.).

Really no excuse to pay more than you already have to!