What if I told you there is a great way to volunteer, help local families, and boost our economy at the same time?
It’s one of the nation’s best kept secrets, but it’s a powerful program that helps bring millions of dollars back to our state—the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, program. Through this national program, volunteers are trained and certified by the IRS to offer free tax preparation to low- to moderate-income households.
As a VITA volunteer, you help individuals and families avoid costly fees associated with tax preparation and rapid refunds, and you ensure they receive the credits and refunds for which they are eligible, like the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Last year, the state introduced the Connecticut EITC for working families, on top of the federal credit. To take full advantage of this credit, it is even more critical that taxpayers get their returns done by trained and trustworthy preparers.
In 2012, our two VITA sites here in Middletown helped 349 Middlesex County residents file their taxes for free and returned $450,000 back to taxpayers. Those who filed with our VITA sites had an average Adjusted Gross Income of $20,053 and received an average refund of almost $1,500, money they have earned. This impacts not only the 400 people who filed their taxes, but also their families and our local economy.
You don’t need any prior qualifications to be a VITA volunteer, except comfort with a computer. We will train you on the rest, and you will work in small teams, led by experienced coordinators.
Training will be held January 7-10 or January 14-17, 2013, and volunteers need to attend consecutive evening sessions. Volunteers also need to commit to a three- to four-hour shift once a week during tax season, either in the late afternoon and evening or on Saturdays. Tax preparation is offered January 22–April 10, 2013 at Middlesex United Way’s office in 100 Riverview Center and at NEAT’s office on Main Street.
Many volunteers return year after year and find the work intensely rewarding. If you have any questions, past volunteers will be happy to share their experiences with you.
Our local sites are coordinated by the Middlesex VITA Coalition, a partnership of Middlesex United Way and the Middlesex Coalition for Children.
To volunteer or learn more, contact David Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org or (860) 346-1522.
We hope to see you during tax season!