Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA)
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) once again surpassed the previous year’s successes by reaching a new milestone with its free tax assistance program. This United Way funded, IRS-sponsored program exceeded expectations, which resulted in increased savings and income to local individuals and families. This year, 1,232 individuals or families used the VITA program to file their federal and state income taxes – resulting in $2,067,908 in refunds in the tri-state area.
United Way’s Community Resource Associate Tim Miller and VITA Site Coordinator Connie Sohn worked with 15 trained volunteers who served from January 25 – April 15. Over this time period, VITA volunteers logged 1,108 hours serving tax clients. VITA serves taxpayers who earn $53,000 or less. The program places extra emphasis on the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) which is a tax reduction and a wage supplement for low and moderate income individuals and working families. During the tax return process, emphasis is placed on accessing tax credits such as the EITC. This year, 422 clients were received the EITC, resulting in a total of $687,437 credits received locally.
The VITA volunteers can process both federal and state returns and offer electronic filing - the fastest way to receive a refund.
Volunteers prepare returns with:
- Earned Income Credit (EIC)
- Child & Dependent Care Credit
- Education Credit
- Wages including unemployment & Social Security
- Mortgage Interest
- Property Tax Credits
Volunteers are not be able to prepare returns with:
- Business, farm, rental or partnership income
- Complex capital gains/losses
VITA is funded by the United Way of Adams County and certified by the Internal Revenue Service. The charts below show the growth of VITA since it was implemented by United Way in 2007. With 1,232 clients served in 2016 and over $2 million in federal and state refunds received - the impact of VITA is growing each year!