More than $36.8 million returned to taxpayers through the VITA campaign
In a year brimming with statewide COVID-19-related financial and health challenges, The Village for Families & Children, Human Resources Agency of New Britain, Inc. and United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut are proud to announce the 2022 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) campaign, which mobilizes volunteers to help residents prepare taxes at no cost, saw the highest amounts of taxes filed and dollars returned to 2022 Connecticut taxpayers since the onset of COVID-19. This year, the three organizations partnered together to offer VITA in two convenient ways, including in-person appointments at various sites in the region, and virtually through a secure website. More than 12,700 tax filers received free tax filing services from 259 trained, IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers resulting in nearly $37 million in refunds and credits being returned to our local communities to date.
The VITA campaign was available at no cost to individuals and families with 2021 household income up to $58,000. The average federal refund was $1,779*, the average Federal Earned Income Tax credit was $1,499*, and the average Federal Child Tax Credit was $2,550.
“United Way has been a leader in the VITA campaign for nearly two decades. This year, we enlisted our tax filers with the following rally cry, “VITA Works for Me, for FREE,” said Eric Harrison, President and CEO, United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut. “We are thrilled to report that the coalition’s collective rally cry worked, with the VITA campaign seeing the highest numbers we’ve seen since the start of the pandemicWe are grateful for the participation of our corporate partners, human service partners, and local politicians who joined us in spreading awareness. Most importantly, I’d like to thank all of the dedicated volunteers, as their commitment drives the success of the VITA campaign year after year.”
During this year’s tax season, VITA volunteers contributed 11,278 hours of service, a value of $337,776 based on The Independent Sector’s national estimate of $29.95 per hour of volunteer time.
“More than 12,000 people came to The Village and HRA this year to file their taxes. We were proud to give them flexibility when filing by offering two ways to connect with a volunteer for free tax assistance where they were, when they needed it,” said Laura O’Keefe, Director of Family Financial Stability, The Village for Families & Children. “We are grateful to partner with HRA and United Way to provide this valuable program as part of a comprehensive set of services to connect thousands of people to critical resources that empower them financially.”
“The retroactive enhancement of the Earned Income Tax Credit in the state of Connecticut this year allowed low-to-moderate income working individuals and families to receive a significant boost in state income tax credits,” said Dr. Marlo Greponne, Executive Director, Human Resources Agency of New Britain, Inc. “Our VITA volunteers helped filers maximize their refunds, resulting in more money going into the pockets of hard-working individuals and families to cover daily expenses, create savings plans, and even make essential big-ticket purchases that they might not otherwise have been able to.”
VITA volunteers are still filing returns for taxpayers with incomes up to $58,000 that qualify for VITA. If you received tax forms (such as a W2) late, filed for an extension or have a stimulus-only return, tax filers may continue to sign up for VITA assistance. Filers seeking assistance in Greater Hartford should call The Village VITA assistance hotline at 860-971-4750, and filers seeking assistance in New Britain and the surrounding areas, please call HRA of New Britain at 860-826-2278. Virtual free tax prep is also still available through The Village for Families & Children and HRA of New Britain at getyourrefund.org/GreaterHartfordVirtualVITA and getyourrefund.org/HRA.
In addition, MyFreeTaxes.com, a free, self-preparation service available to all tax filers with no income requirement, was also available for individuals interested in preparing their tax return online.
*Source: Human Resources Agency of New Britain, Inc., and The Village for Families & Children