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Kevin Dow

By Kevin Dow

Don’t miss out – VITA is back for 2016!

Fri, January 29, 2016

vita tax service

Have you ever missed out on a great opportunity, just because you didn’t know it existed? Disappointing and frustrating, right?

That situation plays out each year in the homes of countless taxpayers across the nation, who leave thousands of dollars on the table, unclaimed, during tax season. According to the IRS, approximately 20% eligible residents do not claim one of the biggest boosters to family incomes and one of the greatest anti-poverty tools in the nation – the Earned Income Tax Credit, which can amount to as much a $6,269 per qualify family – simply because they are unaware that they quality or do not file their taxes.

But for many families living paycheck to pay check, understanding what programs and tax credits are available during tax season is critical in obtaining a full tax refund – something that goes a long way in a family’s annual budget.

Through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey and Impact Partner Campaign for Working Families (CWF) are working together to improve financial stability across our region. An IRS-supported tax preparation service through which trained volunteers prepare taxes at no cost for qualifying individuals and families, VITA increases awareness of and access to common tax credits – directly increasing taxpayers’ returns – and also saves clients hundreds of dollars in tax preparation fees. During the 2015 tax season, VITA volunteers filed nearly 29,000 tax returns across the region, which returned more than $41 million to local communities.

To kick off the tax season and mark the 42nd anniversary of the enactment of the EITC, community members are invited to join us and CWF this Saturday, January 30 at the Free Library of Philadelphia between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to file their taxes for free with the help of VITA volunteers. Additionally, there will be more than 30 VITA tax sites available this season in Philadelphia, Montgomery and Delaware counties and southern New Jersey.

VITA is more than a little extra money back in the pockets of local community members – it’s just one way that United Way and our partners are empowering working adults and helping them build the foundation to lifelong financial stability.

Learn more about VITA tax sites near you or volunteering as a preparer.