Now that the W-2 forms needed to file income tax returns have been mailed, the income tax season is in full swing.
And some taxpayers may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and U.S. Rep. Jim Himes is reminding them to check eligibility regulations.
In a statement, Himes (D-4), also highlighted the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, a free tax assistance program that helps low-income workers and seniors prepare their taxes to ensure full and accurate returns.
“The Earned Income Tax Credit is one of the most effective anti-poverty tools we have, but many people who are eligible miss out on over $5,000 because they don’t complete a tax return,” said Himes. “I encourage working families in the area to make use of VITA's programs to help complete their returns and check their eligibility for the EITC—we don't want to leave money on the table that could put food on the table.”
Here's How it Works:
Earned-Income Tax Credit
The EITC puts money back in the pockets low-income families, helping them close the gap between what they earn and what they need to make ends meet. But every year, eligible Connecticut families lose out on thousands of dollars because they do not file their tax returns.
To receive the EITC, individuals must be working and must file a tax form with the Internal Revenue Service. Parents with dependent children receive even more money. Income ceilings are set for married couples, single parents, and individuals. The amount of the EITC varies depending on the number of children in a family and the annual income. For example, a family of four making $25,000 per year might receive as much as $4,900 from the EITC.
Research shows that the EITC improves the quality of life for families and the state's economy in several ways. The program reduces poverty, especially for children, and helps low-wage workers make ends meet. Additionally, the EITC costs very little to administer and puts money immediately back into the local economy.
For more information about the EITC, visit http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=130102,00.html.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance
Residents with incomes below $52,000 are given priority for free income tax preparation by trained volunteers at the city’s VITA centers.
IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals in local communities. They can inform taxpayers about special tax credits for which they may qualify such as the EITC, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled. Additionally, filers will be connected with asset building opportunities such as Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) to improve their standard of living. The Tax-Aide sites, which serve people of all ages, give special attention to seniors 60 and older.
There are VITA sites around the state including in Greenwich, Stamford, Norwalk, New Canaan, Danbury, Naugatuck, Milford and Hartford.
To find a nearby VITA site, visit http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Find-a-Location-for-Free-Tax-Prep.
Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, Norwalk, Oxford, Redding, Ridgefield, Shelton, Stamford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.