Free and confidential tax services available virtually as tax season gets underway
PHILADELPHIA, P.A. — United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ) marked the beginning of tax season by announcing new, COVID-19 safe ways for low-to-moderate income individuals and households to file their taxes using the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and MyFreeTaxes.com.
In partnership with Campaign for Working Families (CFW), VITA provides free and confidential tax preparation services to individuals and families with incomes of less than $55,000. The program also provides financial counseling, helps participants receive the highest possible refund, and offers access to important tax credits that can return thousands of dollars to qualified taxpayers, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC).
This year, VITA services will be offered virtually and in person, while observing COVID-19 safety protocols. Taxpayers who qualify for VITA have four convenient ways to file: 1) have a volunteer walk them through filing virtually; 2) virtually upload their documents to be completed by a volunteer; 3) drop their documents off at a site and return to review and sign their completed tax forms or 4) visit a traditional VITA filing location.
“It’s extremely important for eligible individuals and families to take advantage of VITA services,” said Bill Golderer, CEO of United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. “Every year, millions of taxpayers don’t claim tax credits designed to help lift families out of poverty. These tax credits can serve as a lifeline for struggling families, especially at a time when many are feeling the economic impacts of COVID-19.”
In addition to VITA, individuals and households who earned $66,000 or less in 2020, can file their taxes for free through MyFreeTaxes.com, a national partnership between United Way and H&R Block. This free, online tax preparation is easy, secure and can be done from the comfort of your home.
Last year, VITA volunteers completed 61,000 tax returns, saving community members approximately $18.1 million in fees to paid services and returning $47.9 million to the community. Individuals and families interested in participating in UWGPSNJ’s VITA program or MyFreeTaxes.com can find more information on services and on-site locations here.
United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ) is on a mission to reduce poverty and expand opportunity for all. Serving Pennsylvania’s Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, and New Jersey’s Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May and Cumberland counties, United Way creates solutions that break the cycle of poverty. As part of a network of independent local nonprofit organizations, United Way provides countless ways to give, advocate and volunteer. To learn more, visit www.unitedforimpact.org.