Financial Stability Programs
Volunteer Income Taxpayer Assistance (VITA)
In conjunction with the Internal Revenue Service, South Shore Community Action Council and a team of volunteers provide free income tax payer assistance by filing tax returns for hundreds of low to moderate income families.
Tax payers save the fees normally paid for professional tax preparation. They also are made aware of other SSCAC programs they may be eligible for, such as Fuel Assistance and South Shore Early Education. At the same time, many people currently participating in other SSCAC programs are referred to the VITA site for tax payer assistance.
A study conducted by Brandeis University of tax payers from many Community Action Programs’ VITA sites revealed that low income tax payers who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) realize higher refunds which are then used to reduce debt and increase assets. VITA volunteers ensure eligible families receive EITC.
Since we first offered VITA in 2007, SSCAC filed 717 tax returns, helped tax payers realize $860,000 in combined refunds, and saved them roughly $108,000 in combined tax preparation fees. We anticipate filing an additional 400 returns for the 2009 tax season.
To be eligible for VITA, your annual household income can be no more than approximately $50,000.