Friday, April 6, 2012

Congressman Hanna visits RCIL and the Earned Income Tax Credit Program

Congressman Richard Hanna (NY-24) visited RCIL's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program on Saturday, March 24, 2012 at 1607 Genesee Street, Utica.  This gave Congressman Hanna the opportunity to speak with various members of the Mohawk Valley Asset Building Coalition (MVABC), officials from IRS, taxpayers and learn more about the VITA Program.

The MVABC was developed in partnership with RCIL, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County and Internal Revenue Service with financial support from the United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area, Inc.

 Our mission is to:  Increase awareness and utilization of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); increase the availability and accessibility of free tax preparation assistance and e-filing opportunities through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites; and link EITC participants to information, education, and services to improve financial literacy, and management skills designed to build long-term financial security. 

Millions of dollars had gone unreported each year for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and now through the VITA program, the opportunity exists to assist taxpayers in claiming these credits. 
The over 35 certified volunteers who provide free tax preparation services at RCIL’s Supersite are college students, community members and retirees.  The EITC Program qualifications specifically target low to moderate income individuals and families living in Oneida and Herkimer Counties, with a household income of $50,000 or less.

In 2010-2011, the VITA sites brought $4.1 million of refunds into the community and $1.4 million dollars in earned income tax credits.  A total of 2,984 taxes were prepared.

We are currently reporting 1,205 tax returns prepared (not including AARP’s numbers) with a total of $2 million in refunds.  This number will increase to meet our community goals by the end of this filing season.

Our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites are:  RCIL (Utica), Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency (Utica, Ilion, Rome) AARP (in various locations in our area) and Mohawk Valley Perinatal Network.  Financial Literacy classes are available to taxpayers through Cornell Cooperative Extension. 
If you qualify for EITC and have not filed your tax return, please call 315.272.1888 to schedule an appointment for free tax preparation.  We will be filing returns through Tuesday, April 17, 2012.