Free Income Tax Help Centers Open in Danbury

Mark Langlois | January 26, 2012 | EITC; Earned Income Tax Credit; Danbury Community Action; CACD; Tax Assistance; VITA; Volunteer Income Tax Assistance; CAFCA; Community Action

Free income tax help centers will open Thursday across the state. In Danbury, Mayor Mark D. Boughton, in partnership with the Greater Danbury Tax Assistance Coalition, the IRS, and the Connecticut Association for Human Services, announced their opening with U.S. Congressman Chris Murphy.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is part of a nationwide initiative, offers free federal and state tax preparation to households earning less than $49,000 per year. Three VITA tax centers in Danbury are set to open this week: Community Action Committee of Danbury (CACD) on North Street; Danbury VITA, Inc. on Deer Hill Avenue; and Western Connecticut State University on White Street.

"The meeting requests are already coming in," said Bill Soldati, financial literacy coordinator at CACD of Danbury, which was the city's first free tax preparation site in the national VITA program.

Tax returns will be prepared by IRS-certified volunteers at convenient locations throughout the city. In addition to tax preparation, VITA customers will also have the opportunity to get connected to other free services such as benefits screenings and financial education. Community residents are invited to call 2-1-1 for details about VITA sites in their area.

In 2011, VITA sites in Danbury prepared nearly 1,200 tax returns, saving over $175,000 in tax preparation fees and returning over $1.6 million in tax refunds & credits to local families. In 2012, families earning less than $49,078 may be eligible for Connecticut’s new State EITC, worth up to an additional $1,700 depending on income and family size.

Maritza Travanti, an IRS tax specialist, said more than 200,000 people had their tax returns done by VITA sites in Connecticut last year, and on average their return was $1,957.

One goal of the program, said U.S. Rep. Murphy, is to make sure people are not paying more taxes than they owe.

"That's outrageous," Murphy said.

Langlois, Mark. The Danbury Patch. "Free Income Tax Help Centers Open in Danbury". January 26, 2012.

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