Ah, tax season. Don’t you just love all of the papers and number crunching? The worrying that you forgot something? The checking — and checking —17 times to make sure you did it right? Or worse, paying $100 and up for someone else to do it.
If your household income is $50,000 or less, please save yourself the aggravation and the costly tax preparation fees by making an appointment at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site.
VITA is a free program offered by the federal government, and volunteers are certified the IRS to do your taxes for free. We have two sites in downtown Middletown, coordinated by the Middlesex VITA Coalition, a partnership of Middlesex United Way and the Middlesex Coalition for Children. Tax assistance will be offered here at the Middlesex United Way and at the NEAT Office.
Making appointments is easy by dialing 2-1-1, any time day or night. 2-1-1 is a free hotline open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Appointments are being offered between January 22 and April 10, during the evenings and on Saturdays. Your return will be filed electronically and deposited in your checking account in about a week.
These IRS trained tax preparers are trained to ensure you receive all refunds and credits that you have earned, like the federal and state Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) and the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. About 20 percent of those who are eligible for the federal EITC don’t claim it, and this is money you don’t want to miss out on. Last year, the average federal Earned Income Tax Credit for Connecticut residents was $2,015.
In 2012, our two VITA sites here in Middletown helped 349 Middlesex County residents file their taxes for free and returned $450,000 back to taxpayers. Those who filed with our VITA sites had an average Adjusted Gross Income of $20,053 and received an average refund of almost $1,500, money they earned.
To make an appointment, dial 2-1-1. We hope to see you during tax season!