Stamford, CT— Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) and Stamford Mayor David Martin today encouraged residents to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), if eligible, when filing their tax returns. They also highlighted the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, a free tax assistance program that helps low-income workers and seniors prepare their taxes to ensure full and accurate returns.

“The Earned Income Tax Credit is one of the most effective anti-poverty tools we have, but many people who are eligible miss out on over $5,000 because they don’t complete a tax return,” Himes said. “I encourage working families in the area to find out if they’re eligible for the EITC and take advantage of VITA's programs to help complete their returns. These free resources will not only save you time, but could also save you money.”

“The exceptional work of VITA and local organizations and volunteers has enabled thousands of Stamford residents to receive free tax assistance. I encourage every resident to use this service and take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit if eligible, which not only benefits individuals and families who receive it, but our community as a whole. I thank Congressman Himes and our community leaders and volunteers for helping to make this program a great success year after year,” Martin said.

“The Earned Income Credit is objectively one of the strongest anti-poverty initiatives in the nation. By returning these dollars to low income families we know that assistance is being given where it is needed most. We know that these dollars are being used for housing, food, transportation and education.  In the end, socially we help those in need as well as stimulating the local economy, job retention and job creation. Individuals, families and our entire community are greatly impacted by the success of VITA, and who could be against that?” said Michael Hyman, Director of Domus' Chester Addison Community Center. 

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program provides free federal and state tax return preparation to households earning less than $53,000 per year. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals in local communities. They can inform taxpayers about special tax credits for which they may qualify such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled.

In 2014, Stamford VITA sites prepared more than 1,000 state and federal tax returns, saving taxpayers an estimated $80,000 in tax preparation fees and returning nearly $1.2 million in tax refunds to local families.

Click here to find a nearby VITA site.

Earned Income Tax Credit

The Earned Income Tax Credit (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 claim it when they file their tax returns. The IRS estimates that one in five Americans who are eligible for the credit do not claim this important benefit. 

Nationwide, almost 28 million Americans received more than $65 billion in EITC refunds for the 2013 tax year. In Connecticut, 221,000 residents claimed the EITC, with an average benefit of $2,140.

To receive the EITC, individuals must be working and must file a tax form with the IRS. 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 parents with qualifying children, the EITC can mean up to a $6,143 refund. Workers without a qualifying child could be eligible for a smaller credit up to $496.

Click here for information about the EITC.

Stamford VITA Sites

83 Lockwood Ave.
Open Mondays and Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.; and Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Walk-ins accepted, appointments preferred.
203-348-6491 x 201

Stamford VITA Site No. 2 (formerly NEON/CTE VITA)
83 Lockwood Ave.
Open Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
By appointment only.
203-348-6491 x 201

Domus/Chester Addison Community Center
245 Selleck Street    
Appointments available Monday through Thursday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
By appointment only.
203-348-6491 x 201

Stamford AARP Tax-Aide Schedule

Stamford Senior Center
888 Washington Blvd.
Monday: 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Thursday: 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Friday: 9:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Weed Library
1143 Hope Street
Tuesday: 3 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Bennett Library
115 Vine Road
Monday: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Wednesday: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Chester Addison Community Center
245 Selleck St.
Tuesday: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Thursday: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.