Land Trust seeks

accreditation, comments

NEW CANAAN — After more than a year of preparation, the New Canaan Land Trust has submitted an application for accreditation with the Land Trust Alliance, a program that recognizes land conservation organizations meeting national quality standards for protecting important natural places in perpetuity. The standards relate to the organization’s many facets, including governance, finance, land transactions, and property/easement stewardship.

As part of the accreditation application, the New Canaan Land Trust has adopted and adhered to new policies and procedures that reflect the best practices for land and easement acquisitions, record keeping, financial control and more. The organization has developed protocols for monitoring all 49 properties and 13 easements on an annual basis and has demonstrated its ability to defend and steward these protected places.

The final component of the application includes public input about the organization, obtained through a public comment period. To learn more about the accreditation program and to submit a comment, visit www.landtrustaccreditation.org, or email comments to info@landtrustaccreditation.org. Comments may also be faxed or mailed to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, Attn: Public Comments: (fax) 518-587-3183; (mail) 36 Phila Street, Suite 2, Saratoga Springs, N.Y. 12866. Comments on the New Canaan Land Trust’s application will be most useful by May 20.

NCC offers free

tax preparation

Norwalk Community College is offering free tax preparation help through April 17. The service is courtesy of the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. VITA provides free basic income tax return preparation to qualified individuals in local communities.

IRS-certified volunteers will help taxpayers prepare and file their returns, and inform them about tax credits for which they may qualify, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Credit for the Elderly. NCC is celebrating 10 years as a VITA site. Since 2008, NCC volunteers have prepared as many as 660 tax returns annually.

Hours are Saturdays through April 14 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in West Campus Rooms W138 and W140, Tuesdays and Thursdays through April 17 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. in West Campus Room 138.

VITA generally assists people who make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, and taxpayers with limited English language skills who need help in preparing their federal and state tax returns. College students may be eligible for Education Tax Credits even if 100 percent of their qualifying education expenses are covered by Pell Grants, scholarships and other grants.

Taxpayers seeking assistance must have photo identification and Social Security cards (or Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers) for themselves, spouses and dependents. They should bring wage and earnings statements (Forms W-2), interest and dividend statements (Forms 1099), a copy of last year’s return, and other information concerning their income and expenses for 2017.

For information, call 203-857-7358 or email nccvita@norwalk.edu.