United Way looks for volunteers to help families this tax season

By United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut
Regional - posted Mon., Dec. 16, 2013
Contributed
United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut and The Village for Families & Children are currently recruiting volunteers to assist families in getting the tax refunds and credits they have earned. Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut and The Village for Families & Children are currently recruiting volunteers to assist families in getting the tax refunds and credits they’ve earned. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program provides the opportunity for working individuals and families earning up to $50,000 annually to get ahead financially, pay down debt and work toward saving for the future.

After receiving training, IRS-certified volunteers interact one-on-one with clients to prepare and electronically file state and federal income tax forms at no charge. They also ensure that taxpayers claim the proper tax credits and refunds, including the state and federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a tax credit available to lower-to-moderate wage-earning families. Volunteer commitment is a four-hour session, once per week, from mid-January to mid-April. Bilingual candidates are encouraged.

“Last season, more than 250 dedicated volunteers committed nearly 10,000 hours to the campaign. In 2014 we want to reach our goal of 300 volunteers,” said Michael Goldbas of Deloitte, United Way Community Engagement Committee chairman and member of United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut’s Board of Directors. “Last year 9,400 taxpayers were assisted at United Way-supported sites. The result was $26.4 million in refunds and credits. Once again our community is coming together this year to provide this critical opportunity for families walking a financial tightrope.”

United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut has been involved with VITA for more than 10 years as part of its commitment to help families become financially secure. Last season, United Way and its partners supported 30 VITA sites through collaborations with community-based organizations in Hartford, Enfield, Manchester, New Britain and the Windham region. This past tax season in the Windham region - including Willimantic, Putnam, Stafford and Killingly - nearly 550 taxpayers were assisted, resulting in $1.17 million in refunds and credits. This year, more people need to be reached.

This upcoming tax season in the Windham region, some of the VITA sites will be located at the Stafford Public Library, the Putnam Public Library, Access Community Action Agency and Windham Area Interfaith Ministries.

2014 VITA partners include Bank of America; City of Hartford/Opportunities Hartford Initiative; Community Accounting Aid and Services; Hartford Foundation for Public Giving; Human Resource Agency of New Britain; Internal Revenue Service; United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut; United Way of Connecticut/2-1-1; The Village for Families & Children; Walmart Foundation; and Webster Bank.

To learn more about the roles and responsibilities, and become a volunteer, visit unitedwayinc.org/vitavolunteer.


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