Volunteering with VITA

 

 

Join the volunteer elite!

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What is VITA?

VITA is a catchy acronym for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, an IRS program implemented in our community by United Way of Denton County. Through this program, elite volunteers like yourself help local households earning up to $58,000 file their federal income tax returns accurately and on time. We learn the tax code so our community doesn't have to spend hard-earned money going to paid preparers.

 

What has the VITA Program done?

 

In 2018,

  • United Way of Denton County volunteers prepared 1,423 returns for Denton County taxpayers. Another 138 taxpayers filed using MyFreeTaxes bringing our total returns filed to 1,561 returns!
  • Each return can represent a whole family and on average each return claimed 1.6 exemptions, thus we estimate that we helped 2,508 people through our services.
  • Through VITA and MyFreeTaxes, we returned $2,145,417.50 in refunds to Denton County taxpayers while saving them an estimated $423,031 in filing fees.
  • 40 Volunteer Tax Preparers spent 1,867 hours preparing taxes for Denton County taxpayers
  • Another 59 volunteers contributed 560 hours as Intake Volunteers and Volunteer Translators, helping taxpayers from start to finish at our sites

For five years in a row, volunteers helped put over $1 million back into the pockets of our community. The IRS estimates that over $15 million is left on the table by Denton County taxpayers every year. We need your help to bring that money back to the pockets of households who can use it!

Here are three ways you can help:

Tax Preparer:

After intense, yet highly-accessible training, Volunteer Tax Preparers complete an IRS certification test and work directly with households who earn up to $58,000 to file their tax returns. At the end of the day, your hard work will be more than paid off in both the economic impact you have on local families and the happiness you bring to taxpayers who otherwise would have been paying a retail preparer hundreds of dollars just to get back their own money.

Intake Processor:

As the first person a taxpayer encounters, the Intake Processor sets the tone for taxpayers arriving at the site. Checking the taxpayer's documents to ensure they have everything they need, Intake Processors help smooth the way for taxpayers to get their taxes done both quickly and thoroughly by a Volunteer Tax Preparer. With your help, people will visit their Volunteer Tax Preparer ready to provide the necessary documents and information for a stress-free taxpaying experience.

Translator:

Even if you can't dedicate the training time to becoming an Intake Processor or Volunteer Tax Preparer, you can still do your part to help local taxpayers by breaking down the language barrier! We are in constant need of bilingual volunteers to help our volunteers communicate effectively with taxpayers. Translators engage taxpayers to provide them with accurate returns, the maximum legal refund and the high-quality service taxpayers have come to expect from VITA.

Join the volunteer elite!

 

Helpful Links:

Websites:

IRS website
IRS Information about Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions
Link and Learn Certification System

 

IRS Publications:

Pub. 17 - Your Federal Income Tax for Individuals
Pub. 502 - Medical and Dental Expenses
Pub. 970 - Tax Benefits for Education
Pub. 4012 - Volunteer Resource Guide
Pub. 4491 - Volunteer Training Guide
Pub. 4491w - Practice Problems and Exercises
Pub. 4961 - Volunteer Standards of Conduct Ethics Training
Pub. 5101 - Intake / Interview and Quality Review Training
Pub. 6744 - Volunteer Test / Re-Test
Form 8962 Instructions - Premium Tax Credit

United Way of Denton County analysis of 2017 Tax Bill's effect on VITA

 

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