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VITA helps over 1,500 taxpayers prepare & e-file their taxes for FREE
This tax season, United Way of St. Joseph County's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program helped over 1,500 taxpayers in Elkhart, Kosciusko, Marshall and St. Joseph County with free tax preparation and e-filing.
IRS-certified VITA tax preparers worked to help individuals and families with an adjusted gross income of $50,000 or less receive all the deductions and credits they deserved. The average Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of taxpayers assisted was $16,764.
The estimated savings for VITA taxpayers based on the average cost of tax preparation and a rapid refund loan ($331) was $463,400. The estimated refund amount from the state was $173,345. The total refund dollars processed by VITA was $2,316,825.
The estimated Earned Income Tax Credit returned to taxpayers and our community was $1,638,694. The Earned Income Tax Credit is a federal income tax credit available to individuals and families participating in the workforce and is the nation's largest and most effective federal aid program. Last year, nationally, the EITC raised over 2.3 million hard working families above the poverty level. Per the Brookings Institute, each EITC dollar generates an additional $0.58 back to our community, so the true EITC impact was $2,586,137.
VITA also helped clients by giving them vital information about making smart financial choices with their refunds. Check out the "Financial Resources" section of the website for great tax tips from the IRS and other sources: http://www.uwsjc.org/
A very heartfelt thank you to all our amazing VITA volunteers!
VITA is a program of the Pro$perity Building Campaign Tax Team led by United Way of St. Joseph County. Through the Pro$perity Building Campaign, United Way is working to meet basic needs, build family support systems, increase income, build savings, and gain and sustain assets.
United Way of St. Joseph County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating long-lasting change, ensuring all residents have access to the building blocks to a better life: education, income and health. For more information about United Way of St. Joseph County, visit www.uwsjc.org, find us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter @uwstjoecounty.