It’s been a busy year.
With tax returns only days away, free help is available for thousands of Connecticut residents.
The IRS will begin accepting and processing 2020 returns on February 12th.
“It doesn’t seem to get any easier from year to year. It seems to be getting more difficult, “said Andrew Geisert, Chartered Accountant.
Geisert said filing taxes is not easy, especially given constant law changes and pandemic circumstances.
Geisert is one of the many IRS-certified and trained volunteers who are ready to help under the nationwide VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) programs.
VITA offers free federal and state tax preparation to thousands of Connecticut households, typically US $ 57,000 or less per year – individuals who are eligible for Earned Income Tax Credit.
“VITA has always been there for people with low incomes, but this year it is important to go to a VITA location because you may have experienced job loss or lower wages. So why pay for a service that you can? get it free? “Said Takima Robinson of the Connecticut Association for Human Services.
The non-profit organization operates more than 50 VITA locations.
Last year they helped more than 17,000 taxpayers get cash back in their pockets without opening their paperbacks.
“We’re bringing in about $ 32 million in federal and state refunds and credits, but we’re also saving over $ 5 million in taxes,” said Robinson.
As the dozen of VITA Connecticut locations run virtually this year, the volunteers hope to serve more people from the comfort of their couches.
“You don’t have to worry about finding a babysitter or spending hours at a VITA location,” she said.
And if you’ve got great returns, these can help with that too.
“We keep saying the IRS is just waiting, so it doesn’t help at all to put it off. So you’re better off just taking care of it, ”said Gesiert.
In the middle of a pandemic, the organizers want people to know that tax aid is out there.
“Even if you happen to owe yourself, don’t you feel better if you didn’t have to pay for the service? Because if I owe something, I have to pay money and I owe the IRS something so that we can at least maybe alleviate some of that pain, ”Robinson said.
Click here to register for VITA services. People who need further assistance can call 2-1-1.
From the website:
BASIC APPROVAL FOR VITA: The VITA program is aimed at households generally earning $ 57,000 or less, people with disabilities, and limited English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance with preparing their own tax returns. Self-employed individuals should have business expenses less than $ 25,000, and individuals should have no income from a rental property.
They ask you to have these documents in order to receive the VITA tax preparation.