Each year, millions of tax returns are filed by hard-working taxpayers across the country. While this is a simple task for some, it can be costly—and sometimes daunting—for lower-income households.
The good news is that there’s help for any household with an annual income below $66,000. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is a community resource to help low- to moderate-income households overcome the challenges of filing a tax return, with a particular focus on tax credits, such as the earned income tax credit, child tax credits, elderly credits, dependent care credits, and college credits, often unclaimed without expert knowledge.
With another tax season complete, United Way of Broome County, Broome County Department of Social Services (DSS), and the Family Enrichment Network (FEN) are pleased to announce that the VITA tax sites in Broome County returned over $2,500,000 in combined federal and New York State tax refunds to residents.
This tax season, over 1,540 households turned to the 2-1-1 Susquehanna River Region Contact Center to schedule tax assistance appointments with United Way of Broome County and DSS; in total,
in tax refunds were processed,
with an additional estimated savings of over
in tax prep costs to participants, based on IRS estimates.
The total value provided to the community was:
when combining savings in tax prep fees, refunds, and in-kind value and time.
The VITA tax sites at United Way of Broome County, DSS, and FEN were made possible by the efforts of 38 volunteer tax preparers, including students from Binghamton University. These students and individuals underwent a rigorous schedule of trainings and examinations to become IRS-certified, and ultimately contributed 7,761 volunteer hours over the course of the tax season, valued at:
based on the hourly value of the independent sector for volunteers working in New York.
Thanks to the dedicated efforts of these volunteers, United Way of Broome County hosted the volunteers for a recognition luncheon to acknowledge them for their hard work and participation.
As we celebrate 50 years of doing good through VITA, United Way of Broome County would like to say thank you. From site coordinators, tax preparers, greeters, volunteers, and clients, without you, VITA would not be possible. Thank you for your work and contributions! See you all next tax season!
Are you interested in learning more? Click here for more information!