Granite United Way launches Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program
The highly successful Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program launched January 23, 2023 by Granite United Way, in partnership with Citizens, which generously supports the program with a $50,000 contribution.
This free tax preparation program is available to individuals and families with household incomes up to $60,000 annually. Taxes are prepared by IRS-certified volunteers who assist low-to-moderate income residents to access the greatest amount of refunds. Both Granite United Way and Citizens share a common goal of encouraging financial stability and recognize the importance of programs like VITA to families and individuals.
“The VITA program is one of our community’s greatest resources. It helps low to moderate income households access the greatest refund possible, and our volunteers offer a professional service that helps countless individuals and families,” said Patrick Tufts, President and CEO of Granite United Way. “We are proud of the long-time partnership we have developed with Citizens to ensure these opportunities continue.”
This program continues to be an important element in stabilizing financial health across the community.
“In this challenging economic environment, it is critical that the VITA program continues to serve New Hampshire residents with free tax preparation assistance, helping local families secure the maximum tax refund possible,” said Joe Carelli, President, Citizens, New Hampshire. “We also hope that this service can empower members of the community to kickstart savings that help serve as the foundation for a healthy, stable financial future.”
It’s easy to schedule an appointment by visiting NHTaxHelp.org to see the full list of free tax sites in the state and to make their appointment. Those without internet access can call 211.
Some important changes individuals will see this year include:
· An increase in the Earned Income Credit that can mean as much as nearly $7,000 for a working family
· Eligibility for the Retirement Savers Tax Credit has been increased to $68,000 for a married couple filing jointly or $34,000 for a single filer
· Increases in the Child Tax Credit have lapsed; filers with children 16 years old and younger can still claim the credit for a maximum of $2,000 per child
“This is one of the uniquely impactful ways Granite United Way helps our community,” said Paula Gay, Asset Building Coordinator for the organization who leads the VITA program. “One critical element is helping our neighbors with low income, access all the appropriate Tax Credits available to them. VITA’s IRS certified volunteers are up to date on all the options in which to receive their refunds and options to use a portion of their refund to gain financial stability moving forward. VITA is absolutely free and lends its’ experience to empower people with confidence regarding their taxes.”
According to the IRS, about 1-in-4 eligible New Hampshire residents fail to file for the EITC, leaving an estimated $49 million unclaimed.
Volunteers are the foundation for the program, and this year they will play a critical role in ensuring questions regarding COVID-19 last year are answered. Volunteers are still needed, and those interested can reach out to Paula Gay, Asset Building Coordinator, at 603.224.2595 x316
Granite United Way also encourages self-filers with internet access and a household income up to $73,000 to take advantage of www.MyFreeTaxes.com. This provides access to filing software at no cost and a toll-free number to call and chat line for tax questions
The VITA program is a partnership with United Way, Citizens, the IRS and AARP Foundation Tax Aide.
Granite United Way
Granite United Way is an experienced and trusted organization dedicated to leveraging the resources of investors and volunteers to create lasting change by addressing the underlying causes of our community’s most pressing needs. Granite United Way is committed to improving the lives of individuals and families by supporting programs in the areas of education, income and health. Granite United Way works with over 1,000 companies, 25,000 investors and thousands of volunteers every year to help communities learn, earn and be healthy. Granite United Way is highly rated by GuideStar and Charity Navigator.
Granite United Way serves the Central Region, Greater Seacoast Region Merrimack County, North Country, Northern Region, Southern Region (Manchester, Salem, Derry) and Upper Valley Regions of NH and VT as well as Windsor County, VT. For more information, visit www.graniteuw.org.