A program is under way to help low-income households in the East Bay prepare their income tax forms.
A ceremony was held at 11 a.m. Friday at Brighter Beginnings, 2727 Macdonald Ave. in Richmond to kick off the Contra Costa County program.
The project began earlier last week in Alameda County.
In the Bay Area, program organizers will set up 215 free tax sites with trained volunteer tax preparers to help households that earned less than $51,000 in 2012.
One of the chief missions is to make sure the households claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). That credit can be worth as much as $5,000 per household.
Last year, the EKS program helped secure $68 million in refunds for 64,000 households. Of that, $22 million came from the EITC.