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Free Tax Service Offered to Stamford Families

A tax credit worth more than $5,600 is available to working families, but many eligible people fail to take the Earned Income Tax Credit because they don't know about it. To ensure that eligible families do, a corps of volunteers has been assembled in Stamford and other areas in Connecticut.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program has established four sites in Stamford to help families earning $49,000 or less receive the tax credits and deductions for which they're eligible. At no charge, local residents may have their tax returns prepared by an IRS-certified volunteer. Financial education, matched savings accounts and other services are also available, also for free.

"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 form," U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-Greenwich, said in a statement. Himes attended a news conference last week announcing the opening of a free tax preparation site at CTE Inc. on Woodland Avenue.

"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," Himes said.

The program, said James Horan, executive director of the Connecticut Association for Human Services, "ensures that working families have access to valuable tax credits without having to pay high fees. In addition, VITA connects families to other free services that provide them with the tools to leverage those tax refunds into long-lasting financial stability." Horan's agency helps coordinate community awareness campaigns about the free tax preparation service.

In addition to CTE, other offices are located at DOMUS Inc., the Chester Addison Community Center and the Yerwood Center. For more information, call 211.

Would you take advantage of this free tax preparation service? Leave a comment below.

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