The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program provides individuals and families with low and moderate incomes with free, reliable assistance in filing federal and state tax returns.  In 2021, United Way of Washtenaw County prepared 615 tax returns which generated $1.46 million in refunds to Washtenaw County people.

VITA services were more important than ever during the 2021 filing season, as families continued to struggle to meet their financial obligations. During a national health and economic crisis, a tax refund or a federal stimulus payment can be a lifeline, helping families meet daily needs. VITA sites assisted working families file their taxes and access critical tax refunds used to purchase groceries, pay bills, and build emergency savings. This past year, taxpayers and non-filers alike sought out free, high quality VITA services to access not only refunds but also Economic Impact Payments (EIP) to help them navigate the financial hardships resulting from the pandemic.

Even without the increased need from the pandemic, the current funding level already represents only a fraction of the costs of operating VITA sites nationwide, and programs often operate at full capacity. Given the significant return on investment for this program and the growing demand for quality free tax assistance, we strongly encourage our elected officials to prioritize funding for the Community Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Matching Grant Program.

Email your legislator today to request $35 million to fund VITA in the fiscal year of 2023.

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