State offering free tax return help

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Business was brisk today at all of free tax preparation centers around the state.

It’s known as VITA, for the ‘Volunteer Income Tax Assistance’ program.

Qualified tax preparers were electronically filing people’s taxes for free.

A quick survey found on Monday that many people had no idea this was available.

“I just found out [about it] today when I went to the IRS building,” said Hartford resident Roscoe Nelson.

It is also crucial that people know this is available because many people have been turning to unlicensed, unscrupulous, storefront so-called tax preparers who charge huge fees and file fraudulent information, getting the taxpayer into trouble with the IRS.

“What they’re getting is ripped off, because refunds and the ‘Earned Income Tax Credit’ should be money in their pocket not in the pockets of the predatory tax preparers,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal.

“The bottom line is that Connecticut residents have resources by which they can get their taxes filled out with help from a qualified tax preparer that costs absolutely nothing,” Senator Chris Murphy said.

The state’s two U.S. Senators called on the IRS to crack down on unqualified tax preparers that often prey on lower income working families.

“Do not go to somebody in a storefront, somebody on the street, somebody who is uncertified and unlicensed,” Blumenthal said.

Anyone who is interested in getting free tax help can call 2-1-1 for more information.

The only qualification is that the person seeking the free help must have an income under $52,000 a year.

 

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