BOSTON (CBS) – Tuesday is tax day and places like “H&R Block” will be very busy for the next few days.
However, people like Carolyn Hamblin are getting free help with their taxes at an unexpected place: Boston Medical Center.
Hamblin gets her taxes done at her son’s pediatrician’s office.
“They’re doing an excellent job,” said Hamblin.
The program is called StreetCred. It is located within Boston Medical Center and offers free tax services to low income families and hospital employees.
It is a unique way to help families in need get tax credits they might not know about.
“There are people who are worried they’re going to have to pay or make so little money they don’t need to file taxes,” said Dr. Lucy Marcil of BMC. “But if they do they could get one or two thousand dollars from the government and that could make a big difference in raising their kids.”
The goal is to help families take advantage of tax credits like the Earned Income tax credit. This the largest anti-poverty program in the U.S. and many families are unaware of it.
Families bring tax documents to their doctor’s appointments and meet with tax experts.
Poverty can have a big impact on children’s health. Children from poor families are more likely to have chronic diseases such as asthma, obesity and stress.
“When the caregivers of kids get these money in their pocket we know that kids have better school performance, we know they have higher graduation rates,” said BMC pediatrician Dr. Michael Hole.
Carolyn’s return helps her family.
“I was behind on my rent and got my taxes and I was able to catch up,” said Hamblin.
For hospital employee Junior Brunache and his wife Jacquelyn, they are getting money back from a tax credit that a paid tax expert missed last year.
“Having a few thousand dollars flow in is always kind of exciting so thinking about how you’ll put that in best use when planning for the future,” said Mrs. Brunache.
This year, about 400 families using the program are getting back $1.2 million.