Bridgeport, Conn. – On Friday, February 7, 2014, the Bridgeport VITA Coalition, and the Connecticut Association for Human Services (CAHS) will be joined by Mayor Bill Finch of Bridgeport at 1:00 p.m., at Housatonic Community College, Lafayette Hall -room A101 to educate the public about a tax credit that could mean as much as $6,044 in the federal income tax refund for low-income working families.
To help families looking to save their tax refund for a rainy day or unforeseen expenses, CAHS is encouraging tax filers at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites to direct deposit a portion of their refund in savings and a portion in checking. If the tax filer does not have a traditional bank account they are coached on the benefits of safe guarding their money in a local bank.
“VITA is more than just free tax preparation,” said James Horan, Executive Director of CAHS, an organization that helps to coordinate the VITA campaign across the state. “It ensures that working families have access to valuable tax credits without having to pay high fees. In addition, VITA connects families to other free services that provide them with the tools to leverage those tax refunds into long-lasting financial stability.”
Ten free VITA tax centers in Bridgeport opened this past week. In 2013, VITA centers in Bridgeport prepared over 3,000 tax returns, saving taxpayers an estimated $462,000 in tax preparation fees and returning over $5.3 million in tax refunds to local families.
"VITA and EITC are critical services that empower the hard working families of Bridgeport to receive all of the tax refunds that they’ve earned” said Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch. The money earned from these tax refunds gives our residents much needed assistance with bills, groceries, school supplies, and other expenses. I am urging all residents who qualify to please take advantage of these programs."
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, part of a nationwide initiative, offers families a free and easy way to access refunds and tax credits. VITA provides free federal and state tax return preparation to households earning less than $52,000 per year. Taxes are prepared by IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers at many convenient locations throughout the region.
Residents can call 2-1-1 or visit www.211ct.org to find the closest location. For more information about federal or state EITC eligibility, please visit www.irs.gov or www.ct.gov/drs/eitc.
This year’s VITA campaign is made possible through the generous support of the following funders: Bank of America, United Way of Coastal Fairfield County, Wells Fargo, Citi, General Electric, Walmart Foundation, JPMorgan Chase and IRS.
About the Connecticut Association for Human Services
Located in the state’s capital city, the Connecticut Association for Human Services (CAHS), a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, uniquely combines outreach into working poor communities at the neighborhood level with broad-based policy work at the state and federal level. Founded in 1910, CAHS is focused on helping families and children build the skills and assets they need for lasting economic success, strengthening Connecticut’s economy, and improving its workforce. In addition to advocacy and outreach, CAHS publishes consumer guides, policy briefs, and KIDS COUNT, a highly-regarded data and policy book supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. For more about CAHS, please visit www.cahs.org.
About United Way of Coastal Fairfield County
For thousands of Coastal Fairfield County kids, a good education, health and stable family income are not a given. By focusing on three key areas - education, income, and health - United Way of Coastal Fairfield County helps children in need succeed in school, helps to improve their family’s financial/home stability, and helps children and families stay physically and emotionally healthy.. Our key role is bringing together resources and people with expertise and experience that will change community outcomes. To learn more, go to unitedwaycfc.org.