Free tax clinic-days to run on Molokai

Line your pockets with money you thought you’d spent this February.

By: Adam Bencze

Living on Molokai is an incredibly pricy endeavor; some sources estimate that the average household cost of living is between 30-60% higher than that of the average mainland household. Despite the financial squeeze, many families aren’t taking advantage of every possible savings opportunity. In 2005, approximately 27,000 eligible taxpayers in Hawaii failed to claim the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and a total estimated $44 million of tax credits went unclaimed.

This February, Aloha United Way and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) will be sending trained volunteers to Kaunakakai to help with the tax preparations of Molokai families free of charge.

For Tax Year 2006, the maximum EITC credit is $4,536 for a family with two or more qualified children. Even individuals without children and those earning below the level required to file a tax return may qualify for the EITC.

“This is a coordinated effort between Aloha United Way, AARP, OHA, the State of Hawaii’s Department of Taxation, and the IRS,” says Susan Tamanaha of Aloha United Way, “We just want to help eligible taxpayers claim all of the tax credits that they are entitled to and, hopefully, encourage Molokai organizations to establish their own free tax assistance sites in the future. Even if you don’t qualify for the EITC, we may still be able to help you out”

The clinics will start on Feb 9.


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