Volunteer Income Tax Assistance provided through a partnership between United Way, the City of Ft. Worth and GRACE is excited to offer 100% free-of-charge tax preparation services to families who earn less than $56,000 annually.
This program puts hard earned dollars back into the hands of the individuals who earned them. Not only have these services rendered better tax benefit returns in past years, but our volunteers are also here to help with long-term financial planning, advising and education.
VITA tax preparers are trained to catch details that are easily and frequently missed by other tax preparation offices that charge high fees for their services. For many families, tax returns are the one time in the year they have cash to cover bills, debts, and other expenses, and making the most of these returns is vital to ongoing self-sufficiency.
Paying a high cost for returns or a portion of the tax return to walk away with the cash that day is steeling that money right out of the hard-working individual’s hands! We are talking about a difference of hundreds and in many cases thousands! This free resource is too valuable to not take advantage of this tax season.
Last year, a total of $352,045 was returned to more than 200 families who came to GRACE to file their income tax returns for free. Families who came to GRACE averaged an additional $2,000 in Earned Income Tax Credit that might have otherwise been missed by other paid tax return preparers.
For those on limited budgets or fixed incomes, a well-earned return from the Internal Revenue Service has a significant budget impact, and creates a ripple effect that is far reaching, including the intangible support given during tax season for financial stewardship awareness, job coaching, and continued education resources to increase each family’s earning potential.
“The value of this service could not be overstated,” said Stacy Pacholick , GRACE director of programs. “Not only are refunds rightfully given back to the people who paid them, the teachable moments are boundless.”
If you are interested in taking advantage of the VITA program, volunteers will be at GRACE Main Offices, 837 E. Walnut St. in Grapevine, beginning January 28, every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Fridays, 2 – 7 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. through April 17.
Please bring valid photo identification, a Social Security card or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) for all family members, all W-2 forms, a copy of the 2018 tax return, if possible, and 1099 forms, cash income amount & work expenses, 1095 Health coverage form, and direct deposit information. If filing jointly, both spouses must be present.
The United Way of Tarrant County has twelve other VITA Locations available. VITA offers tax filers the opportunity to drop off tax information. Returns are processed within three days.
The key to the massive outpouring of support for this program is centered in the volunteers who provide the service. Hundreds of tax preparers, intake specialists and interpreters will be working through the April 17 filing deadline to assure all who qualify can take advantage of VITA services.
If you are passionate about helping families overcome hardship through financial education, VITA – Volunteer Income Tax Assistance – is still in need of tax help volunteers. No prior qualification is required to be a VITA volunteer. Volunteers will not be liable for accounting errors, and a staff person will be present at all times.
Tax Preparers will assist families with simple tax returns. Intake Specialists are needed to greet families, ensure they have the necessary documents, and explain the VITA packet. Intake Specialists will attend a one-hour training session. Interpreters are also needed.
GRACE is holding training for VITA tax preparers on Saturday, January 19. Anyone who is interested in giving their time and efforts to assist may contact our Chief Program Officer, Stacy Pacholick, at SPacholick@GRACEGrapevine.org or (817) 305-4636 for more information.
Again, please contact our Chief Program Officer, Stacy Pacholick, at SPacholick@GRACEGrapevine.org or (817) 305-4636 for more information.