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Putting Money Back in People’s Pockets is Priceless

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 creditsOnce 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. United Way and its partners support 30 VITA sites through collaborations with community-based organizations in Hartford, Enfield, Manchester, New Britain and the Windham region.

2014 VITA partners include: Bank of America; City of Hartford/Opportunities Hartford Initiative; Community Accounting Aid and Services; Hartford Foundation for Public Giving; Human Resources 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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