A free tax service is being offered once again this year for area residents who meet specific income guidelines or who qualify for the 2009 federal Earned Income Tax Credit.

Beginning next month, the Erie Free Taxes Initiative — with the help of area community foundations — has coordinated tax preparation sites and volunteers in two local communities — Corry and Union City — as well as 14 other sites throughout Erie County.

Individuals and families will have their local, state and federal taxes prepared and filed at no charge by Internal Revenue Service-certified volunteer tax preparers.

Corry’s preparation site is the administration building at Corry Area Middle-High School. Hourlong appointments are available on Wednesdays and Fridays from 4 to 8 p.m., beginning Feb. 3 and ending April 9.

Union City’s preparation site is Union City Elementary School. Hourlong appointments are available on Tuesdays and Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m., beginning Feb. 2 and ending April 15.

Interested residents are advised to schedule an appointment within their respective locations and a representative can assist them in determining their specific refund.

A toll-free number has been established to make appointments for the Corry and Union City locations, as well as several other Erie County sites. The number is (888) 829-5680.

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