Thursday, June 16,2022
Pat Gentile, Executive Director of SimplifyCT, held a webinar today, sharing information about how SimplifyCT’s work can benefit other front-line nonprofits.
SimplifyCT’s current goal is to ensure that every Connecticut family has received the benefits they are entitled to, especially the CT Stae and national Child Tax Credit. SimplifyCT works together with nonprofits and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) to act as the trusted messenger in getting the word out about how filing a simple tax form can privide thousands of dollars in cash resources to low income families.
The webinar shared the processes and resources that SimplifyCT provides to other nonprofits in order to help people file their tax returns, as well as receive extra benefits such as the Child Tax Credit.
SimplifyCT hosted two panelists, Luis Guzman, the Director of the Immigrant Success Fund, from Fairfield County Community Foundation (FCCF) and Kim Morgan, CEO of Prosperikey. The panelists shared how SimplifyCT has impacted families throughout Connecticut and how the Child Tax Credit program positively impacts families.
The SimplifyCT works hard to ensure that Spanish-speaking communities have access to the resources and benefits they are entitled to. To reach non-English speakers, the SimplifyCT website is completely translated into Spanish and every call-center worker is fluent in English and Spanish.
“SimplifyCT is very well positioned to do all the work to make sure that nonfilers receive their tax credit. The SimplifyCT team was able to file 5,455 Child Tax Credit returns across the country in just 10 weeks, which is very impressive. More importantly, this brought in $23 million to people who desperately need these resources.
There’s more work to do. There’s certainly trust issues when it comes to some immigrant communities and members of the LatinX community. Leveraging our relationships with Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and nonprofits that see members of those communities and low income persons is crucial. If FCCF or SimplifyCT knocks on a door, it may not be as effective as a local CBO who already has an established relationship with someone. It’s a crucial issue with massive impact. The infrastructure is already there and we need your help to get the word out and there is capacity to reach out to a diverse audience,””
Kim Morgan, CEO of Prosperikey, highlighted how families in need use the money that they receive from the Child Tax Credits and the stimulus funds. Families who received these extra funds put it towards bills and debt, savings, or put it back into the economy.
However, these families are unable to receive these benefits if they are unaware that they exist or are unsure how to sign up for the benefits.
“These households need to be reminded, as we all do, over and over again that this is an opportunity that is there and they need to have trusted partners to direct them to those resources, which is where all of our nonprofits come into play across the state. We know if we put those extra dollars into their hands, they are going to spend it on their unique family needs. It could be as basic as food or as transformational as college tuition,”
SimplifyCT, a Connecticut-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is an online and face to face IRS volunteer income tax assistance program. We provide year round tax advocacy for families throughout Connecticut as well as nationally through our partnership with Code For America. As a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) provider, we have helped thousands of families across Connecticut file tax returns online and in person and receive the benefits that they deserve.
SimplifyCT provides tax assistance and advice at no cost. SimplifyCT is a trusted State and national partner with organizations including the White House, the Administration for Children & Families, the Internal Revenue Service, the State of CT, and the national nonprofits Code for America, Share Our Strength, and United Way.