Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is a program of the IRS designed to help low- and moderate-income taxpayers complete their annual tax returns at no cost. VITA services are available nationwide; each year, millions of low-to-moderate income tax filers are provided free tax assistance, preparation and electronic filing through VITA programs.
The Goodwill NCW VITA program started in 2004 serving a few hundred tax filers. During the 2015 tax season, Goodwill trained more than 70 volunteers (students, professionals and community members) who prepared more than 2,000 federal tax returns for low- to moderate-income, disabled or non-English speaking residents of the Fox Valley, including Green Bay. To learn more about the program and how you can help, watch this video.
VITA volunteers help low-to-moderate income tax filers save thousands of dollars in commercial tax preparation fees and claim valuable refundable tax credits like the Earned Income Credit, Child Tax Credit and the Wisconsin Homestead Credit.
Moreover, VITA volunteers help tax filers avoid expensive Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs) and Refund Anticipation Checks (RACs) offered by many commercial preparers, saving low- to moderate-income Fox Cities households even more. Nationally, RALs and RACs drained $1 billion from low- to moderate-income households in the 2009 tax year. In the Fox Valley, almost 1 in 4 EIC-eligible tax filers used a RAL or RAC in the 2009 tax year.
You can help area individuals and households avoid costly tax practices and increase their financial stability by providing valuable free tax assistance. Click here for more information about volunteer opportunities in Goodwill NCW’s VITA program.