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How a trip to the doctor can help with taxes - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

How a trip to the doctor can help with taxes

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BOSTON -

Carolyn Hamblin gets her taxes done at her son's pediatrician's office.

"They are doing an excellent job," she said.

The program called StreetCred at Boston Medical Center offers free tax services to low-income families and hospital employees. The goal is to help families take advantage of tax credits like the Earned Income Tax credit. That's the largest anti-poverty program in the U.S. and many families are unaware of it.

"There are people... who are worried that they're going to have to pay or make so little they don't need to file taxes. But if they do they could get $1,000 or $2,000 back which could make a big difference raising their children," said Dr. Lucy Marcel, a pediatrician at Boston Medical Center.

Families bring tax documents to their doctor's appointments and meet with tax experts.

Studies show 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 this money in their pocket we know that kids have better school performance, we know they have higher graduation rates," said Dr. Michael Hole a pediatrician at Boston Medical Center.

Hamblin's return helps her family.

"I was behind on my rent and got my taxes and was able to catch up," Hamblin said.

Hospital employee Junior Brunache and his wife 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," Jacquelyn Brunache said.

About 400 families using the program are getting back a total of $1.2 million this year.

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