CAHS year in review: a new VITA season

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The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) is CAHS´longest running initiative.  For VITA, coordinates several coalitions of community based organizations in several

cities across the state to offer free tax preparation services to low income families. CAHS works as a convener, helping our partners recruit volunteers, prepare marketing materials, seek funding, coordinate efforts with IRS and train and certify volunteers. Our objective is to help working families get their tax returns filled for free, avoiding costly for profit tax preparers.

Our VITA work has informed our policy work since the start. One of our aims is to help families that are eligible for refundable tax credits (like the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Child Tax Credit) receive the full amount. Our advocacy for a state EITC derives from our experience promoting its federal version, and seeing how effective it is.

Our VITA program is growing. During the 2012 tax season CAHS coordinated a ne

Our work with VITA is not restricted to just tax returns, however. We are working with several of our partners to incorporate asset building and financial education to the services offered by our VItwork of 47 sites that completed close to 11,000 tax returns. These filings brought $18 million back to Connecticut in tax refunds; 38% of fillers were eligible to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit.   For the 2013 tax season we will be working with 53 sites; we are expecting to complete more than 12,000 tax returns.  About a third of

TA sites. In others, we are also pairing tax preparation with benefit screening.

The 2014 tax season will start by the end of January - and we are still looking for volunteers. You can sign up here, if you are interested. If you want to help CAHS bring this service to more people across the state, or you want to boost our current efforts, you can also make a year end contribution to support this program. You can do it online here - it is tax deductible, and we will appreciate your support.

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