Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA)
In 2019, this United Way funded, IRS-sponsored program exceeded expectations, which resulted in increased savings and income to local individuals and families. 1,132 individuals or families used the VITA program to file their federal and state income taxes – resulting in $1,900,000 in refunds in the tri-state area.
VITA serves taxpayers whose household earn $56,000 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. Last year, 422 clients received the EITC, resulting in a total of $687,437 credits received locally.
United Way is also proud to offer financial education classes in partnership with Members First Community Credit Union. These 1-hour long classes will be held at the United Way office and are meant to provide real-world information to help individuals manage and control their finances.
The VITA volunteers can process both federal and state returns and offer electronic filing - the fastest way to receive a refund.
Do you know anyone who has claimed unemployment this year? As of April 2020, over 23 million Americans filed for unemployment, and 1 out of 4 Americans received unemployment this year. We need your help to reach these individuals and make sure they know that unemployment is taxable income. We do not want them to be caught off guard when filing their tax return next year.
VITA Volunteers prepare returns with:
Earned Income Credit (EIC)
Child & Dependent Care Credit
Wages including unemployment & Social Security
Property Tax Credits
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 1,132 clients served in 2019 and over $1.9MM in federal and state refunds received - the impact of VITA is growing each year.