United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties is currently seeking volunteers for greeters and tax preparers for its VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program for the upcoming tax season (January 27 - April 15, 2020).
The United Way VITA program is an IRS-supported tax preparation service, through which trained volunteers prepare taxes at no cost for qualifying individuals and families. The VITA program, along with My Free Taxes, connects community members with eligible credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC is a benefit for working people with incomes under $66,000 and can mean more resources for essential needs such as reliable transportation, housing and food.
According to Debbie Curtis, United Way's VITA program coordinator, the program "is a wonderful example of how United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties works to improve the financial stability of everyone in our community, by helping to keep money in taxpayer pockets." "We are able to offer this free service to qualified families and individuals through the assistance of very committed volunteers," added Curtis.
Free tax preparation training will be provided in December 2019 and January 2020 for those interested in volunteering. To sign up, visit www.volunteerforvita.org and select "Rutherford County".
During United Way's 2019 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, 3,172 volunteer hours were given. More than 1,700 tax returns were completed, resulting in a $1,800,000 investment through tax refunds, as well as $414,630 in reduced tax prep fees, for a total economic impact of over $2,200,000 in Rutherford and Cannon counties. Through combined efforts with My Free Taxes, a free online filing service, the economic impact from the VITA program has consistently increased each year.
Since the VITA program's inception in 2012, more than $10M has been invested back into Rutherford and Cannon counties through tax refunds.