Get it and get it right, with free tax help from the VITA program in Connecticut
What: Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Day 2020
When: January 31, 2020
Where: If you earned up to $56,000 in 2019, determine your EITC eligibility at one of Connecticut’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites.
How: Make an appointment to visit a VITA tax site near you! Visit 211CT.org and click on “Tax Help” or dial 2-1-1 and press 3 then 6.
Why: The IRS estimates four of five eligible taxpayers claim and get the EITC. EITC and other income tax credits lifted an estimated 9 million people out of poverty last year, including 5 million or more than half of them children. (Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Policy Basics: The Earned Income Tax Credit, June 21, 2019)
Hartford, Conn., January 31, 2020 — Workers may get a larger tax refund this year because of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). But to get it, you must file a tax return and claim it.
Today, January 31, 2020, marks the 14th anniversary of EITC Awareness Day, a nationwide effort to increase awareness about EITC and free tax preparation sites. This year, IRS is promoting EITC and providing information on other refundable tax credits that you may be eligible for. This includes the Child Tax Credit (CTC), the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), the Credit for Other Dependents (ODC) and the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC).
If your 2019 income is up to $56,000, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in Connecticut provides free tax preparation services, including filing for the EITC and other credits for individuals and families with 2019 incomes up to $56,000, persons with disabilities and limited-English-speaking taxpayers. Appointments at VITA locations across the state are now open.
The Village for Families & Children, United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut, Human Resources Agency of New Britain and the Connecticut Association for Human Services have opened tax filing sites in Litchfield, Hartford, Tolland, Windham, Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex and New London Counties.
To schedule an appointment at a VITA location, visit 211CT.org and click on “Tax Help” or dial 2-1-1 and press 3 then 6.
VITA volunteers – trained by the Internal Revenue Service – ask you the needed questions to find out if you qualify for EITC and other refundable tax credits. They also prepare and e-file (electronically file) your tax return at no cost to you.
“Our community volunteers help you get EITC and the maximum refund you’re due. Our goal is to help you get it and get it right. This is money you can save or use to pay off bills, buy that car to get to work or make a down payment on a home. Let us help make your life a little easier,“ said Laura O’Keefe, director of family financial stability at The Village for Families and Children.
EITC can mean up to a $6,431 refund when you file a return if you have qualifying children. Workers without a qualifying child could be eligible for a smaller credit up to $519. According to the Internal Revenue Service, the average amount credited for 2019 was $2,476.
In 2019, 25 million workers received more than $63 billion in EITC refunds. In Connecticut, 216,000 workers received $485 million in Earned Income Tax Credits, averaging $2,243 per person.
Bring the following to make sure VITA volunteers get you the right amount of credit you deserve:
- A valid driver’s license or other photo id card
- Social security cards, a social security number verification letter for all persons listed on the return
- Birth dates for all persons listed on return
- All income statements: Forms W-2 and 1099, Social Security, unemployment, and other statements, such as pensions, stocks, interest and any documents showing taxes withheld
- All records of expenses, such as tuition, mortgage interest, or real estate taxes
- Copies of last year’s state and federal tax returns, if you have
- Bank routing numbers and account numbers to direct deposit any refund
- Dependent child care information: name and address of who you paid and either the caretaker’s SSN or other tax identification number
- If you purchased coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement
- Both spouses to sign forms to e-file a joint tax return
In addition to face-to-face tax assistance, free online self-preparation and tax help is available for people who make up to $66,000 at www.myfreetaxes.com.
For more than a decade, VITA coalitions have been helping working families become financially secure. Free tax preparation is one way for hard-working families to keep more money in their wallets by obtaining the tax refunds and credits they have earned.
Last year, volunteers at 175 VITA locations across Connecticut brought $73,222.366.00 in total refunds and credits to filers.
The 2019-2020 VITA and MyFreeTaxes program partners are: CT Association for Human Services; Human Resources Agency of New Britain; Internal Revenue Service; The Village for Families & Children; and Connecticut United Ways.