EDITORIAL: Tax help available for those who need it

EDITORIAL: Tax help available for those who need it

April 15 is not a holiday, but it is as firmly etched in our minds as Christmas or New Year’s Day — although with dread rather than joy. It is, of course, Income Tax Day, a day written in dollars and cents, in red or black, the deadline for our yearly encounter with Uncle Sam.

Those of us whose financial affairs are relatively simple may have little trouble filling out a Form 1040 or, better yet, a 1040EZ. But if we have to deal with a 1042T or a 1094B or an 8453R, or need to submit a Schedule A, B, C, D or E, things can get pretty complicated pretty quickly.

That’s why it’s good to hear that the Human Resources Agency of New Britain is scheduling appointments for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program for taxpayers with a household income of less than $56,000, persons with disabilities, and those who speak limited English. The program offers free income tax preparation help in Meriden and Wallingford, with in-person document drop-off and online appointments in this year of a continuing viral pandemic.

The plan is for people to drop off their documents; then fill them out online, by appointment; then pick them up later.

The Internal Revenue Service trains and certifies VITA volunteers to help with basic state and federal tax return preparation, including the option to file electronically and receive tax refunds by direct deposit. The HRA coordinates the program locally with assistance from the United Way of Meriden and Wallingford. Appointments begin Monday.

Marlo Greponne, HRA executive director, said that HRA's team of volunteers is “well qualified, well trained and more than capable” of providing the same quality of service as in the past, while observing all safety protocols. But she asks for patience from clients as VITA rolls out this year in its hybrid model.

Some details are still being worked out. For more information, contact vita@hranbct.org or by phone at 860-356-2000.

This is a service that can help many people with one of the year’s most annoying and confusing tasks. We applaud those who are willing and able to help their neighbors out in this way.

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