Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Site
Second Year a Success!
Tax season is a time of stress for everyone. But, it can be especially hard on low income people. They benefit most from receiving the refund they are entitled to, but may not be able to afford a professional tax preparer.
That’s where EMERGE’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site comes in. Since 2014, EMERGE has offered appointments on Saturdays in February, March, and April to help low income community members prep and file their taxes free of charge. The VITA site is staffed by IRS-certified volunteers who committed to over 12 hours of Federal and State training and took rigorous tax exams to qualify.
This was the second year EMERGE served as a VITA site. We prepared 102 total returns in comparison to 61 last year and returned $94,930 to the community in federal refunds. We have not yet received the numbers to include state refunds yet, so it will likely be much higher!
Says Shawna Thompson, Financial Opportunity Center Manager, “I love seeing first time filers getting acquainted with taxes. I love seeing tax payers who got their tax returns done at our site last year and have come back to get them filed here again. It is awesome to know that we are becoming a trusted source for free tax filing in our community.”
Thank you to all of the volunteers and Financial Opportunity Center staff who helped participants sustain their futures by ensuring they received the tax credits they are entitled to!