WHAT IS THE VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE (VITA) PROGRAM?
As part of the Northern Virginia CASH Campaign, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program provides free tax preparation services to low-income families. Working with local businesses and government agencies, the mission is to raise awareness about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and increase financial literacy among low-income taxpayers. Since 2006, the coalition has completed over 40,000 free tax returns – that’s a savings of over $8 million in professional filing fees!
WHERE WILL THE SITES BE LOCATED?
Site arrangements have been made at various convenient locations throughout Northern Virginia in the City of Alexandria and the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier and Prince William.
WILL MY VOLUNTEER EFFORT REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
With the help of more than 250 dedicated and trained volunteers, staffing 17 VITA sites and seven Facilitated Self Assistance (FSA) sites, 5,886 low-income families saved more than $1.1 million in professional filing fees, and prepared and filed their 2015 tax returns receiving more than $9.6 million in refunds this tax season. An average of $1,416 was awarded back to those families who qualified for the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the average Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) recipient received $2,097.
WHAT KIND OF FINANCIAL EDUCATION SHOULD WE BE ABLE TO PROVIDE TO VITA CUSTOMERS?
The most significant financial education we provide is helping our clients understand their tax returns. Our volunteers take their time and explain the returns to their clients. A typical client question is – why is my refund different from last year? This opens up a conversation about dependents, filing status, income and credits. We also spend time helping clients understand their Forms W-2 and paystubs. For more information on additional financial resources provided through VITA, click here .