The Ohio Benefit Bank, a Web-based, counselor-assisted program that connects low- and moderate-income Ohioans with access to potential work supports, will host a free tax preparation assistance clinic for eligible individuals from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 31.

The Ohio Benefit Bank, a Web-based, counselor-assisted program that connects low- and moderate-income Ohioans with access to potential work supports, will host a free tax preparation assistance clinic for eligible individuals from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 31.

The location will be 51 N. High St., Suite 150, in Columbus. The OBB entrance is at the corner of Gay and Wall streets, just west of High Street.

"In Ohio, many working families and individuals struggling to make ends meet are not aware that they may be eligible for free tax assistance," Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director for the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Food Banks, the OBB lead agency, was quoted as saying. "In fact, each year, more than $1.6-billion in tax credits and other work supports go unclaimed by eligible Ohioans who do not apply."

Free tax assistance is available through the OBB to working families and individuals whose household income is less than $56,000 a year. When using the OBB service, taxpayers also can determine their eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which directs more of the tax refund back to the taxpayer.

Trained counselors will lead individuals through the program, securing tax credits and public benefits for which they are eligible. Individuals also can apply for other public benefits, such as food stamps, childcare and medical benefits, that otherwise might go unclaimed.

The Benefit Bank also can assist clients in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, making the process easier for individuals to access higher education. The clinic is free. Refunds can be received in as a few as seven to 10 days. Both walk-ins and appointments will be accepted.

Eligible Ohioans who cannot visit the clinic also can file their taxes online for free by visiting www.ohiofilesfree.com.

To learn more about tax assistance programs and other available resources or to locate an Ohio Benefit Bank site nearest you, call 1-800-648-1176 or visit www.OBB.Ohio.Gov.