WORCESTER, Mass. /Massachusetts Newswire/ — Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray today joined local officials and community organizations in Worcester to launch a statewide effort to promote the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a federal and state income tax credit available to low and moderate income working families and individuals.

The Lieutenant Governor made today’s announcement after meeting with families who benefit from the EITC at the Worcester Community Action Council. As part of the announcement, Lieutenant Governor Murray presented a proclamation from the Administration declaring the 28th as Massachusetts EITC Awareness Day. Today is also National EITC Awareness Day.

“Our Administration is once again pleased to be a leading partner in the Massachusetts EITC Coordinated Campaign and to work with community organizations across the state to help spread the word about this great tax benefit,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “During these difficult economic times, it is even more important to inform residents about this tax benefit as well as the assistance available to access the benefits.”

The Massachusetts EITC Coordinated Campaign, led by the Patrick-Murray Administration, has partnered with Community Action Agencies in Boston, Fall River, Lawrence, Springfield and Worcester for a series of events to better inform families and communities about the tax benefits of the EITC program.

The EITC program serves as a critical resource for families in need. However, in the 2009 tax year, 20 to 25 percent of eligible working families in Massachusetts failed to apply for the EITC, calling for increased awareness in the state. Depending on a family’s size and income, individuals and families may be eligible for thousands of dollars in refunds, even if the individual or family does not currently owe any income taxes.

“WCAC is pleased to be the host agency for the Worcester EITC effort. The support from the Patrick-Murray administration for this program is critical to the overall success of increasing outreach and education while ultimately helping to put financial assets back in to the lives and households of so many customers in need,” said Jill Digalis, Executive Director of the Worcester Community Action Council. “Thanks to Lieutenant Governor Murray’s leadership as Worcester’s Mayor several years ago, our regional coalition is strong, successful and expanding each year as evident through the increasing number of customers served and tax dollars returned.”

The Massachusetts EITC Coordinated Campaign, led by the Administration’s Office of Access and Opportunity, includes partner-representatives from the Patrick-Murray Administration, Massachusetts Service Alliance, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Internal Revenue Service, Boston EITC Campaign, Massachusetts Association for Community Action, Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, including local legal service corporations, MIDAS, and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley.

“Once again, I would like to thank Lieutenant Governor Murray for efforts to promote resident participation in the federal and state earned income tax credit program,” said Assistant Secretary for Access and Opportunity Ron Marlow. “The Coordinated Campaign represents the best in partnership activity among state government, other governmental entities and community-based non-profits. I am proud that this is the third year that we have worked to promote these programs that benefit both residents and the communities in which they live.”

To learn more about the Massachusetts Earned Income Tax Credit, and view the list of free, volunteer tax assistance sites located in Massachusetts please visit