BRIDGEPORT, CT – Congressman Jim Himes (D-CT) joined Mayor Bill Finch (Bridgeport) and community activists today to remind Bridgeport-area citizens of the need to submit their tax returns and apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). They also highlighted the free tax assistance program Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) that helps low-income workers and seniors prepare their taxes to ensure full and accurate returns.
"Today's reports of nearly 600,000 lost jobs in just the last month highlights, more than ever, the importance of the Earned Income Tax Credit—one of the most effective anti-poverty tools we have," said Congressman Himes. "But many workers miss out by not completing a tax return form. I encourage working families in the area to make use of VITA's programs—we don't want to leave money on the table that could put food on the table."
The EITC puts money back in the pocketbooks of hard-working, low-income families, helping them close the gap between what they earn and what they need to make ends meet. But every year, eligible Connecticut families lose out on thousands of dollars because they do not file their tax returns.
 "What VITA is doing to help Bridgeport-area families is extremely important, especially in these tough economic times," said Mayor Finch. "My office will support this effort in any way possible to ensure that low-income working families in our area take advantage of the free volunteer assistance available to them through the auspices of VITA." 
To receive the EITC, individuals must be working and must file a tax form with the Internal Revenue Service. Parents with dependent children receive even more money. Income ceilings are set for married couples, single parents, and individuals. The amount of the EITC varies depending on the number of children in a family and the annual income. For example, a family of four making $25,000 per year would receive over $3,100 from the EITC.
Research shows that the EITC improves the quality of life for families and the state's economy in several ways. The program reduces poverty, especially for children, and helps low-wage workers make ends meet. Additionally, the EITC costs very little to administer and puts money immediately back into the local economy.
For more information about the EITC, visit,,id=130102,00.html.

Congressman Jim Himes represents Connecticut's 4th District, which includes the communities of Bridgeport, Darien, Easton, Fairfield,  Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, Norwalk, Oxford, Redding, Ridgefield, Shelton, Stamford, Trumbull,  Weston, Westport, and Wilton.