Volunteer Income Tax Assistance - Our Impact!
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers FREE tax filing services January through April each year at various sites throughout Charlotte County.
VITA programs provide a fundamental direct service to a clientele in need. A substantial portion of available assistance to lower-income families is accessible only by filing a tax return (assistance such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and more). The average cost among large national tax preparers is close to $200, and there is evidence that some EITC filers pay up to $500. For lower-income taxpayers who want assistance preparing and filing their tax returns, the free service available from VITA represents a significant cost savings. Although United Way of Charlotte County's VITA program is open to taxpayers with annual incomes up to $66,000, the adjusted gross income of those obtaining services in 2020 ranged from $25,000 to $29,000.
For a sizeable number of VITA filers, the tax credits and refunds claimed represent a large share of annual available household resources.
Tax Season 2020 Impact
(program cut short 4 weeks due to COVID-19)
- Completed 426 income tax returns
- $548,226 in IRS total refunds
- $167,485 in Earned Income/Child Tax Credits - an increase of 4% from the previous tax season (with a shortened tax season)
February 2020 - Mobile Event at Boys & Girls Clubs of Charlotte County
Twenty-five Charlotte County mobilizers gave of their time, talents, and treasures on Saturday, February 8, 2020 to bring assistance and resources to families in need – at a location they are comfortable and
We were able to connect with a number of individuals and families who are truly the representation of our Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) families.
Do you have tax questions or need help with your tax return? Click here to get connected to VITA!
The 2020 United Way of Charlotte County Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program is proudly sponsored by Centennial Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, Publix and Gulf Coast Community Partnership.
Tax Season 2019 Impact
It is notable that in the five prior program years combined, there were 1,100 returns filed in total. This year, a total of 589 returns were filed, mostly through e-filing. It is estimated, since this is a free program, that at least $121,628.00 was not spent to cover tax preparation costs. Combine the fact that there is significant tax-preparation cost savings, as well as the secure e-filing, the VITA program provides the maximum calculation of all appropriate and applicable credits and deductions on each return. This year, the total amount refunded to the participants was $542,984.00. In addition, they logged the largest EIC (Earned Income Credit) award for the clients this year. At this year’s pace of providing free tax preparation along with the amount of refunds provided, the program has proven both its need within our community as well as a huge economic impact upon its participants and community. Click here to read more.