This year will mark the 13th year that GRACE has partnered with United Way of Tarrant County to offer the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program to families and individuals in and around North Tarrant County. VITA offers free tax preparation services to households whose family income is less than $64,000 per year. Many of the families GRACE assists live paycheck to paycheck and often the only time they have extra cash to put away for an emergency or to catch up on bills is when they file their tax returns. For those families, a well-earned refund from the IRS has a significant budget impact.
Beginning on January 23rd and running through April 13, 2024, a qualified family or individual can come to GRACE during the times listed below and have a trained volunteer complete their taxes free of charge. Many families who pay for these services are missing different types of Earned Income Tax Credits thus short-changing them from what they have earned. In just the last five years alone, close to 1,300 families have regained a total of over $2.5 million through the VITA program at GRACE.
Volunteers are the key to this program. By taking a one-day training, volunteers are enlisted to complete the income tax return form for qualified households. Volunteers do not need to be accountants or financial wizards (although we welcome those folks too!). Each return is completed and approved by two trained volunteers to ensure accuracy.
“This program targets families and individuals who are working hard to meet their basic needs,” Interim Executive Director Stacy Pacholick shares. “The impact of ensuring that tax returns are complete and that the tax payer receives the tax credits that they deserve not only assists the family but also offers educational opportunities to discuss budgeting and saving for emergencies.”
GRACE needs you! We are looking for volunteers who can commit to helping with this program during open hours. This year, the VITA program has the following schedule at GRACE: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays 2:00pm to 7:00pm and Saturdays 9:00am to 2:00pm.
In addition to volunteers, the United Way of Tarrant County is hiring a Site Coordinator and an Intake Specialist to work here at the GRACE site. These are temporary paid positions that would make a huge impact on so many of our community members. Please take a moment to consider if either being a volunteer or committing your time during January and April as an employee is an interest for you.
If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Stacy Pacholick at email@example.com or go to unitedwaytarrant.org/VITA-Volunteer for additional information.