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Franchot Visits Gaithersburg, Encourages Use of EITC

State and local agencies offered some free tax advice this morning in Gaithersburg.

It's official, tax season is upon us.

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot visited Family Services, Inc. in Gaithersburg this morning to encourage taxpayers to use all the resources available to them when they file their taxes, including the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC.

"The EITC is an effective anti-poverty tool," Franchot said. "It helps people move up the economic ladder."

Franchot was joined by Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney Katz, Family Services, Inc. Executive Director Thomas Harr and Melvin Hardy, the IRS Territory Manager for Maryland.

Together they encouraged Maryland residents to use the Montgomery County Community Action Agency's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program to help get the maximum return on their taxes through programs like the EITC.

Franchot said he views financial literacy as the "new civil right," and that taking advantage of the EITC can help "give people the dignity of being sufficient." 

Hardy said that while you might not have heard about the program, it's nothing new.

"We've had the program for quite a while, but it hasn't been marketed as much as it could have been," he said.

Katz said other programs, like the City's own Bank On Gaithersburg program, are also available for residents. The Community Action Agency has four locations around the County, including Gaithersburg, Takoma Park, Rockville and Wheaton.

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