In the News
VITA Gets Income Tax Results For Families
April 16, 2012
Preparing taxes can be stressful for even the most organized individual. Getting paperwork in order, filling out forms and meeting with professionals while unsure of whether you will receive a refund or owe additional taxes, can be an overwhelming process.
IRS-trained United Way volunteers offer expertise and process thousands of returns through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Providing a valuable service to others, these volunteers have a heart for community and the people they serve.
VITA is a critical resource offering free tax preparation assistance for individuals or families in the community who earned up to $57,000 in 2011. In Metropolitan Nashville alone, it’s estimated that more than $25 million in tax credits are unclaimed. Since its launch in 2004, more than 40,000 individuals and families have received nearly $60 million in tax refunds and Earned Income Tax Credits through the United Way-supported VITA program.
Following are firsthand accounts about individuals using United Way’s VITA sites this year:
- Tired of paying others to do his tax return, Paul visited the Dream Centers of Tennessee. Thanks to a VITA volunteer, he had his taxes done free and learned a small change on his W-4 may save him money in the future.
- After being informed of a $1,100 refund from a paid tax preparer, a client visited the Sam Levy site for assistance. Following a series of questions with the IRS-trained volunteers, she learned she qualified for the Earned Income Tax Credit and ended up with a refund exceeding $5,000!
- With the assistance of a volunteer, an onsite computer and software, a United Way client e-filed his return from a mobile VITA site and directly deposited a refund of almost $11,000!
- After completing her night-shift job, a client with a pounding headache showed up at St. Luke’s Family Resource Center to file her taxes. The headache disappeared when the thankful visitor learned of her $8,500 refundAs we count down to April 17, this year’s tax day, now is the time to tackle your taxes and tell others about the free United Way VITA program. With 19 sites in operation across Nashville, there is a site nearby for those meeting the income guidelines.
Call the United Way’s 2-1-1 Helpline to determine the site most suitable for your needs. Just dial 2-1-1. With approximately $25 million in unclaimed tax credit still available, don’t wait!
Margaret Dolan is board chair, United Way of Metropolitan Nashville, and vice president, community relations, Ingram Industries Inc.