NORWALK, Conn. -- Ron Peruzzi, a senior consultant with the IRS along with members of the Greater Bridgeport Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Coalition will promote free tax preparation and tax credits on Saturday, Jan. 30 at Norwalk Community College, that could mean as much as $5,460 for low-income working families with children.
The program, which begins at 1 p.m., is in addition to two free VITA tax centers that will open in Norwalk at the end of January.
“I strongly support this program, and want to encourage Norwalk residents to use this valuable service," said Mayor Harry Rilling. "I also want to thank the VITA staff and dedicated local volunteers who make it possible for low-income families to benefit from accessing their tax credits.”
In 2014, VITA centers in Norwalk prepared more than 335 tax returns, in total benefitting taxpayers an estimated $150,000 in federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and returning more than $500,000 in state and federal tax refunds to local families. The EITC is the single most effective program to move families out of poverty. The Connecticut EITC provides an additional credit for working families which is 27.5 percent of the federal EITC.
“VITA is more than just free tax preparation,” said Jim Horan, executive director of the Connecticut Association for Human Services (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.”
To help families looking to save their tax refund for a rainy day or unforeseen expenses, CAHS encourages federal income tax filers at VITA sites to direct deposit a portion of their federal and state refunds in checking and savings accounts.
However, in an effort to reduce fraud, the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services has changed its policy for first-time Connecticut income tax filers, and direct deposit will not be a refund option. First-time taxpayers can elect to receive a refund via debit card; otherwise a paper check will be issued.
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