For the 2020 tax season, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program celebrates 10 years of providing free tax preparation in Tarrant County. In that time, county VITA volunteers have served over 50,000 families and helped them receive over $100 million in tax refunds.
Last tax season at GRACE, nearly 400 local families were refunded more than $650,000. For GRACE clients on meager or fixed budgets this was a much-appreciated windfall.
Starting Monday, January 27, GRACE will open its doors again to families and individuals needing help with their taxes. The tax preparation season continues through Friday, April 17.
The eligibility requirements have expanded this year: any person or household with an income less than $58,000 can participate. So to serve as many people as possible, we need your help as a VITA volunteer!
United Way of Tarrant County will train volunteers for several important positions including greeters, interpreters, intake specialists, and tax preparers.
Greeters help participants by welcoming them to the site and overseeing sign-in. They also ensure families and individuals are directed to the correct area.
Interpreters provide free interpretation and translation services to customers who are not fluent in English or may need assistance. In order to volunteer, interpreters need to attend training.
Intake specialists greet and screen all taxpayers to ensure that they have necessary information and documentation required to complete a tax return. In addition, intake specialists explain the VITA packet to each taxpayer and assist them in completing information. Intake specialists are required to attend a one-hour training session.
Tax preparers help with simple tax returns. After the quality review process is complete, they discuss the tax return with the taxpayer. Tax preparers are required to attend IRS tax training and complete certification.
VITA volunteers receive some amazing incentives such as a year-end volunteer appreciation party, tickets for sporting events, gift cards, and recognition for the Volunteer of the Month.