Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Provides Free Help Filing Taxes
A Message from Richard Porth President/CEO of United Way of Connecticut


The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax preparation services to individuals and families with total household income below $53,000 in 2014.  The program recruits and trains volunteers who help taxpayers prepare and file basic tax forms at VITA sites throughout the state beginning in January and ending on April 15.


Details about all of the Connecticut VITA sites can be found on the 2-1-1 website at this link or by dialing 2-1-1, including hours of operation and details about whether help is available by appointment or walk-in. 

Self-service online appointment scheduling is also available for the following towns: Hartford, Manchester, Middletown, Putnam, Stafford, West Hartford, Willimantic, Windsor Locks, and Vernon. Just visit the 2-1-1 Tax Help page to review the eligibility criteria and then click on the link labeled "Book Your Own Appointment."

For more information, including details about other free tax filing assistance and a list of documents to bring along when filing taxes, read the 2-1-1 E-Library paper on Free Tax Assistance or dial 2-1-1.

To learn more about tax credits -- including the Earned Income Tax Credit -- read on.

2-1-1 and the 2-1-1 E-Library have up-to-date information about tax credits that can make a big difference for individuals and families who claim them. An overview of three common tax credits is below, and additional information is available on the 2-1-1 website at this link, or by dialing 2-1-1.

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable tax credit that typically increases the tax refunds received by those who qualify.  In Connecticut, the EITC can be claimed on both federal and state tax returns. For qualifying individuals and families, the EITC adds to their tax refund, making it possible to pay off debt, save for a rainy day, and invest in their future.


However, it is estimated that up to 25% of qualifying households do not claim the EITC on their returns. When you file your taxes this year, be sure to check whether you qualify to receive the EITC.  Learn more at this link.


For eligible individuals and families with dependent children under the age of 17, the Federal Child Tax Credit provides a credit of up to $1,000 per child. Learn more at this link.

This tax credit applies to individuals and families that have incurred child care expenses while working or looking for work. The credit is based on income, and is a credit of approximately 25 to 35% of child care expenses up to $3,000 for one child, or up to $6,000 for two or more children. Learn more at this link.

AccessHealthCT is the official health care marketplace for Connecticut, and its open enrollment period for health insurance coverage in the 2015 plan year ends on February 15, 2015.

Information about the plans available, rates, coverage, and application details can be found on the AccessHealthCT website or by calling 1-855-805-4325.  

In-person help is available at 12 enrollment centers and community enrollment partner sites across the state. To learn more, visit the AccessHealthCT website at www.accesshealthct.com.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health classifies the current level of seasonal flu activity in the state as "widespread," but it is not too late to get a flu shot. 

Although the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that this year's vaccine is not as effective, they still recommend vaccination for protection against some strains of the virus.

To find local clinics that offer flu vaccines--as well as their hours of operation and pricing--visit the HealthMap website or dial 2-1-1.

For additional information about the seasonal flu, visit the 2-1-1 E-Library and the Connecticut Department of Public Health website.