Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is a federal program created 40+ years ago. It continues to have bipartisan support in Congress.
VITA is an excellent opportunity for individuals and families to keep more of their money and save on tax preparation fees. This service is provided by trained IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers who will – in addition to preparing taxes for free – also determine an individual’s eligibility for special tax credits.
In the 2016 tax season, more than 5,816 Broward County taxpaying working families and individuals took advantage of the VITA program and had their income taxes prepared by trained VITA volunteers. More than $6.3 million in taxes were refunded to working families. Nearly 40% of the individuals assisted last year qualified for additional tax credits, including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Individuals who have not taken advantage of EITC in the past may be eligible for the credit for up to three years retroactively.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Florida assisted more than 2 million individuals and the average EITC refund in 2015 was $2,450 and total EITC was $5.2 billion.
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and other Tax Credits.
When the IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers work on your taxes they automatically determine if you are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or one of the many other tax credits such as the Child Tax Credit, Credit for the Elderly or education. Tax credits to assist tax payers in maximizing their returns refunds.
Electronic filing assures a quick return on their tax claims.
The federal EITC for taxpaying low-to-moderate-income working people reduces the amount of taxes owed and refunds the difference if the credit is larger than the amount owed. The credit changes from year to year and is based on earnings, number of qualifying children and marital status.