MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH)– Several non-profit organizations are working together to help save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Inside an office in downtown Middletown, people work hard to save members of their community money.
“We’re targeting a large population, this is people from all walks of life,” said Sonia Balram, North End Action Team.
Sonia Balram is the Office Manager at the non-profit group, the North End Action Team, and this time of year she and dozens of volunteers help low income families file their taxes for free.
“We’ll ask them about expenses, we’ll ask them about income, we’ll ask them about deductions. We’ll ask them about everything, you know whether it’s their house, their mortgage, their business expenses. Whatever, it is we’ll ask them, we’ll check it all off,” said Balram.
It’s all part of an IRS effort called VITA, or the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and in 2013 alone, it helped return nearly $580,000 to taxpayers in Middlesex County.
“I just saw one family who literally have $9,000, you know, that’s a new car,” said Balram.
And all to often tax experts say people don’t even realize how they could be saving money. For example, if you own a phone that you use for work, that could be tax deductible. Have a car that you use to volunteer? That too could be tax deductible.
Even in some cases child care could be written off on your taxes which could save people hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars every year.
“The government program that lifts the most people out of poverty is social security, but the second money important is tax credits,” said Betsy Morgan, Middlesex VITA Coalition.
Betsy Morgan is a member of the Middlesex VITA Coalition, that says people in the Middletown area can also receive tax help at the United Way.
“The atmosphere is very friendly. People get a lot of support. If they haven’t brought in all the documents they need, they can come back another time,” said Morgan.
Time to return money to the families that need it most.
“We’re helping people to do the things that they love and like have the money that they need,” said Balram.
The VITA program is not just available for low income families in Middlsex County but is in fact available to those who qualify all over the state.
If you would like more information on setting up an appointment for free tax help all you have to do is dial 2-1-1.