Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program Offers Free Tax Preparation beginning January 20, 2022

Jan.20, 2022

Households with annual incomes of up to $58,000 qualify for no-cost tax return assistance

Hartford, CT Jan. 20, 2022 – It’s tax time, and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is back to offer free federal and state income tax preparation services for Connecticut residents with annual household incomes of up to $58,000. United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut, in partnership with The Village for Families & Children and Human Resources Agency, Inc. of New Britain (HRA) kickoff VITA to help qualifying residents file their taxes at no charge.

VITA services have been a free, professional, and trusted resource in our community for nearly 30 years. All VITA volunteers are certified-IRS tax professionals who must take and pass tax law training that meets or exceeds IRS standards. This training includes maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of all taxpayer information.

We all can agree that 2021 has posed financial and health challenges for so many. This tax season, VITA offers three convenient ways to connect with a trained tax professional, including:

1. Drop off appointments;
2. In-person assistance; and,
3. Virtual VITA submissions

To register for a VITA appointment in the Greater Hartford, Tolland and Windham areas visit 211ct.org/taxhelp or dial 2-1-1 and press ‘3′ then ‘6’. United Way 211 is a free, multilingual information and referral hotline, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To make an appointment in the New Britain area, visit hranbct.org/VITA  or dial 860-356-2000.

This year, the theme of VITA is “VITA Works for Me, for FREE,” and all VITA volunteers are ready to help qualifying tax filers claim the tax credits they have earned. The goal is to increase the number of qualifying households that claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to help families get on the pathway to financial security. This is especially important given the economic impacts COVID-19 has had on the community.

“The EITC is a federal and state tax benefit for working people and their families, and it allows more dollars to flow into our community. It’s money workers can use for groceries, rent, utilities and starting a savings program,” said Laura O’Keefe, Director Financial Opportunity Center at The Village for Families & Children. “VITA volunteers want workers who may qualify for EITC to have all the information they need to get the EITC credits they have earned.”

Last year, more than 8,700 tax filers received free online tax filing services from 232 trained volunteer tax preparers resulting in nearly $24.5 million in refunds and credits being returned to our local communities.

“United Way is grateful to our volunteers, donors, and partners, including The Village for Families & Children and Human Resources Agency, Inc. of New Britain (HRA), for their continued commitment to the VITA campaign,” said Paula S. Gilberto, President, and CEO, United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut. “We also need to recognize our VITA volunteers. VITA would not exist without the hundreds of volunteer tax professionals who drive the success of the program.”

VITA volunteers have been assisting Connecticut households for more than twenty years. They are here to help individuals and families with annual incomes up to $58,000 get ahead financially, pay down debt and work toward saving for the future.

“Connecticut’s Earned Income Tax Credit for 2020 has been retroactively enhanced to 41.5% from 23.0%,” stated Dr. Marlo Greponne, Executive Director of HRA. “That means nearly 200,000 low-to-moderate income working individuals and families will receive a significant boost in state income tax credits. But, you have to file your taxes to earn the credit, and that is where VITA comes in to help you navigate your EITC credits.”

For a complete list of required documents needed for VITA Tax Preparation, go to https://uwc.211ct.org/vita-docs/.

About United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut
United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut’s vision is a community where opportunities are available for every child to succeed in school and for every family to achieve financial security. United Way brings people and resources together to address immediate needs and finds long-term solutions to challenging problems. United Way does this by investing in programs and services, leading community change initiatives, and mobilizing resources and volunteers to ensure that: children succeed in school; people get jobs and are financially secure; people are healthy; and, basic needs are met during tough times. Learn more at unitedwayinc.org.

About The Village for Families & Children
The Village for Families & Children was one of the first agencies in the country to provide homes for neglected children. Today, The Village provides a full range of behavioral health, early and childhood youth development, substance use treatment, and support services for children, families, and adults in the Greater Hartford region. Learn more at thevillage.org.

About Human Resources Agency of New Britain, Inc. (HRA)
The Human Resources Agency of New Britain, Inc. is a multi-service non-profit organization dedicated to increasing economic self-sufficiency among individuals and families residing in greater New Britain, Bristol, and surrounding towns. HRA’s five program divisions house its wide variety of services; early childhood education, community and neighborhood, employment and training, energy and housing, and health and wellness. For more information, visit our website at hranbct.org

United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut Media Contact:
Robert Bernarduci, 860.888.2270, bobb@mintz-hoke.com

The Village for Families & Children Media Contact:
Sarah Thompson, 860.751.4179, sthompson@thevillage.org

Human Resources Agency, Inc. of New Britain (HRA) Media Contact:
Juan Berrios, 860.214.8454, jberrios@hranbct.org