Since 2009, United Way has partnered with the IRS to provide the VITA or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, offered annually from January to April to assist families and individuals with low to moderate incomes prepare their tax returns. This year, twenty-seven IRS-trained and certified volunteers ensured taxpayers received all of the credits for which they were eligible and helped put over $1.3 million back into the pockets of Indian River County residents.
“We’re privileged to provide Indian River County households with the resources and tools needed to become financially stable,” explained Michael Kint, CEO, United Way of Indian River County. “Most of the taxpayers we serve are hardworking families struggling to cover basic needs such as food and housing, many now suffering additional financial hardship due to COVID-19.”
Concluding on July 15th, the VITA program filed a total of 1,225 tax returns, with an average refund of $1,083 per household. Indian River County residents received $413,480 in Earned Income Tax Credits, $77,698 in Child Tax Credits, and $6,492 in Education Tax Credits.
VITA is critical in helping residents obtain the money available to them and can help a household survive. There is no cost to clients, saving a household an average of $175 in tax preparation fees. Instead, this money can be used to purchase groceries, pay bills, or go towards an emergency savings fund.
This program would not be possible without the local sponsors helping cover costs of offering this service; Kmetz, Elwell, Graham, and Associates PLLC; and Morgan, Jacoby, Thurn, Boyle, and Associates, P.A., and the certified volunteers who generously contribute their time and show us what it means to LIVE UNITED.
If you would like to learn more about becoming a VITA volunteer or sponsor, please contact Eve Ballance, Community Impact Coordinator at (772) 567-8900, ext. 120, or Eve.Ballance@UnitedWayIRC.org.
About United Way of Indian River County
United Way of Indian River County (UWIRC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every community member. United Way works with local programs to provide resources to individuals and families in crisis today, while working year-round to improve community conditions and create lasting solutions. We are effectively building a strong foundation and improving lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community. For more information about your local United Way, please call (772) 567-8900 or visit our website, UnitedWayIRC.org.