VITA sites are now offering limited in-person and drop off services by appointment only through 211, and an online process through GetYourRefund.org where you can electronically submit you and your household’s information and any necessary documents to file your tax return. Once submitted you will be contacted by a Volunteer to assist you with the completion of your tax return. For more information, please contact the VITA Program Coordinator, Jenny Vongxay by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Takima Robinson, Director of Asset Building Programs, recently sent a press release regarding the VITA program's aim to help Bridgeport households struggling to make ends meet file their State and Federal Taxes for free. She also appeared on NBC Connecticut to discuss the VITA program (video below).
In partnership with the IRS and local community coalitions, CAHS coordinates an annual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Campaign across Fairfield, New Haven, New London, Middlesex, and Litchfield Counties.
A national program, VITA provides free tax preparation services to low-to-moderate-income individuals and families earning less than $57,000 a year. IRS-trained volunteers are certified to prepare simple tax returns, and screen customers for special tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Retirement Savings Contribution Credit (Saver's Credit), that can help them to make ends meet. Visiting a VITA site instead of a paid tax preparer saves each filer an average of $200. Taxes can be filed electronically, in which case refunds are received within 7-10 days.
The EITC is widely regarded as the single most effective poverty-reduction program for working families in the United States. Working families with incomes up to $55,952 (depending on household size) qualify for the federal EITC, which may provide a credit of up to $6,557. A combination of free tax preparation services at a VITA site and the potentially large return from the EITC can really help to boost a family’s tight budget. The EITC can also provide the opportunity for a family to begin saving for the future, paying down debt, or investing in assets such as a home, small business, or higher education.
To find out if you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), visit the IRS website.
The VITA program is currently seeking individuals to fill several positions. Training will be provided. For more information contact Jenny Vongxay, VITA Program Coordinator, at email@example.com, 860-951-2212 x246 or Tori Hamilton, VITA Outreach Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org, 860-951-2212 x230.
*Due to COVID-19 and restrictions to in-person services, volunteers may need their own laptop/computer to assist clients virtually/remotely and a reliable phone for correspondence.
Takima Robinson, Director of Asset Building Programs, recently spoke with Wanda Coppage at 94.3 WYBC about volunteer opportunities. Listen to their conversation here.