Return more than $344.000 in tax credits and refunds to local community
Greenville – This tax season, staff and volunteers at NextStep Ministries helped 302 local tax filers keep their full tax refunds through partnership with The Ohio Benefit Bank (OBB), a program of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks. Thanks in part to a capacity building grant from the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, NextStep Ministries connected households with more than $344,000 in tax credits and refunds. Plus, by helping community members file their taxes for free, NextStep saved them an estimated $43,186 in tax preparation fees.
“This is the third year the grant has been available to us. It has enabled us to reach many more people in Darke County and the surrounding area by helping us promote our tax services to the public. It also allowed us to purchase much needed equipment for our tax site.” said Kristy Cutarelli, Outreach Ministries Coordinator for EUM Church. “Because of the capacity building grant we were able to exceed all of our goals for this tax season.”
Forty-two OBB sites throughout Ohio received capacity building grants to support their free tax filing services. In total, those grantees helped to file 11,392 federal tax returns and 10,897 state tax returns, connecting low- and moderate-income Ohioans with more than $17.8 million in tax credits and refunds.
Hundreds of other faith-based and community organizations also provided free tax filing assistance through the OBB, and many more Ohio taxpayers used the free OBB Self-Serve module at ohiobenefits.org to file their taxes on their own. Statewide, the OBB connected nearly 26,000 Ohioans with more than $44.4 million in tax refunds, helping them keep more of their hard-earned money.
“This year marked the most successful tax season yet for the OBB network,” said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks. “These important tax credits and refunds—accessed for free through our network—will help the low- and moderate-income Ohioans we serve every day to pay bills, make household repairs and build emergency savings accounts.”
The Ohio Benefit Bank provides free tax filing services year-round, so Ohioans who need to file back taxes or are still owed a refund for this year can visit ohiobenefits.org to file for free today. Since its inception, the OBB has connected over 84,000 Ohioans with nearly $187 million in tax refunds.
About NextStep Ministries
NextStep Ministries is a ministry of EUM Church. Jeff Harper is Senior Pastor at EUM Church and regular worship services are Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 8:15, 9:45, and 11:15 a.m. at our Worship Center located at 1451 Sater Street (corner of Sater and Sebring-Warner Road) in Greenville, OH. Kidmunity Children’s Ministry is available for kids age birth through grade six at the 6:30 pm, 9:45 and 11:15 am services. The Downtown Campus, 111 Devor Street, houses our offices and preschool. For more information, go to www.eumchurch.org or call 548-3211.
About The Ohio Benefit Bank
The Ohio Benefit Bank is a network of about 1,300 faith-based and community organizations that connect low- and moderate-income Ohioans with nutrition programs, child care assistance, federal student aid, veterans benefits, health coverage, and more, in addition to free tax assistance. Taxpayers can call 1-800-648-1176 to find a participating site nearby, or file their taxes and apply for benefits on their own at www.ohiobenefits.org.
About the Ohio Association of Foodbanks
The Ohio Association of Foodbanks is Ohio’s largest charitable response to hunger, representing Ohio’s 12 Feeding America foodbanks and 3,300 member charities including food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters. In SFY 2012, the association and its member foodbanks were able to acquire and distribute over 164 million pounds of food and grocery items. Follow the association on Twitter, stay connected on Facebook and visit them on the web at www.ohiofoodbanks.org.
Contact: Kristy Cutarelli, Outreach Ministries Coordinator, EUM Church at 937-316-8420 or email@example.com
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Joree Jacobs, Director of Communications, Ohio Association of Foodbanks at 614-221-4336 ext. 265 or 614-273-5818 (cell) or firstname.lastname@example.org
 Based on average accountant fees from National Society of Accountants 2012 fee study: http://taxes.about.com/od/findataxpreparer/a/prices.htm