DRS: Connecticut Celebrates New Earned Income Tax Credit

Connecticut Celebrates New Earned Income Tax Credit

 

For Immediate Release                                                                                 Tuesday, November 22, 2011

 

(Hartford, CT) Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Senate Majority Leader Martin D. Looney (D – New Haven) and Department of Revenue Services (DRS) Commissioner Kevin B. Sullivan today joined the Connecticut Association for Human Services (CAHS) to launch the implementation of Connecticut’s Earned Income Tax Credit (CT-EITC). The event, held in the State Capitol, highlighted the benefits the CT-EITC will bring to Connecticut and its residents during the upcoming tax filing season.

 

CAHS Executive Director Jim Horan thanked Governor Malloy and Sen. Looney for their efforts getting the CT-EITC passed into law.

 

“The National Center for Children in Poverty found that the federal EITC reduces poverty for young children by nearly 25% - more than any government program,” Horan said. “Now that we have the CT-EITC, I believe we will see an increase in the number of families able to move out of poverty. Thank you Governor and Sen. Looney for all of your hard work in making this happen.”

 

Governor Malloy said one of the reasons he believes in the CT-EITC is that it will mean more money in the pockets of state residents who need it most.

 

Governor Malloy said, “The CT-EITC is expected to put about $108 million into the hands of working families in need. Combined with the federal EITC, this means approximately $500 million to help state residents buy food, pay their bills, get an education, perhaps even save some money for future expenses.”

 

Governor Malloy also touted the new CT-EITC as an economy booster citing information from the Brookings Institution that EITC dollars spent by recipients generate additional income in the community as most EITC dollars are spent locally. It also rewards individuals who are willing to accept lower wage employment. The credit is available only to working individuals and families.

 

Sen. Looney noted that former President Ronald Reagan referred to the EITC as “the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress.” He said the new CT-EITC will play an important role in reducing the disproportionate impact other taxes place on low-income workers.

 

“Low-income working families pay a much higher percentage of their disposable income in income tax plus sales and property taxes than higher wage earners,” Sen. Looney said. “Making this credit available to these workers helps to level the playing field just a little bit and the money is spent not on luxuries, but on essentials like medical care, car repairs, and clothing for their children.”

 

DRS Commissioner Kevin B. Sullivan said his agency’s message will be simple: “You earned the EITC, so don’t let anyone steal it.”

 

Commissioner Sullivan commended Governor Malloy and said, “This is a great way to help working families and help the state economy too.  We are working to make it easy for people to qualify and claim the new CT-EITC.  At the same time, we know from the experience of other states, that this will be a target of unscrupulous racketeers who file fraudulent claims or even trick legitimate taxpayers into allowing them to file false claims on their behalf for a fee.  We have also built tough anti-fraud protections into the process for claiming refunds.   

 

Commissioner Sullivan added that taxpayers will be able to seek free assistance in claiming the CT- EITC from the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA).  “Groups like Co-opportunity, CAHS, and the United Way will provide resources and locations throughout the state where VITA volunteers will help prepare income tax returns, including EITC claims.

 

Taxpayers may access the new CT-EITC website at www.ct.gov/drs/ to find reputable, free tax filing services.”

 

Horan said that IRS estimates state that one-fifth of eligible people miss out on the federal EITC because they don’t know about it, don’t know that they qualify, or don’t know where to find free tax filing assistance. Working with DRS, Co-opportunity, the United Way, community anti-poverty agencies, and each group’s partners, CAHS believes the outreach efforts in Connecticut will reach those who ordinarily would not file a tax return and may not know about the credit.

 

“There will be a concerted effort between state government and the social service community to educate residents about both the federal and state EITC and who is eligible,” Horan said.

 

Workers who earned $48,000 or less in 2010 and were raising children and single workers without children who earned less than $13,460 may qualify for the credit. The average CT EITC payment will be approximately $540 and the maximum payment is approximately $1,700. Combined with the federal EITC, the maximum payment a Connecticut family would receive is $7,476.

 

CAHS coordinates 40 VITA sites in Fairfield, Litchfield, and New Haven Counties. Co-Opportunity is the lead agency for the Hartford Asset Building Collaborative (HABC), a consortium of community-based organizations, financial institutions and other private funders founded in 2000 and supports 14 VITA sites in the Greater Hartford area.

 

###

 



Content Last Modified on 12/27/2013 8:52:16 AM