Goodwill Easterseals provides staff and trains volunteers along with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to become tax preparers in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in southwest Alabama and northwest Florida. Preparers help tax payers find out if they qualify for the EITC and other refundable tax credits. These volunteers also prepare and electronically file tax returns at no cost for families whose 2015 household income was $54,000 or less. We were honored to be joined today by Senator Bradley Byrne, Mayor Sandy Stimpson (Mobile), County Commissioner Merceria Ludgood (Mobile), United Way of Southwest Alabama Executive Director, Cliff Grimes, and members of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Eight years ago, when we first started offering the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, we were able to help our employees and the people we serve to save money by keeping all of their refund. We prepared 100 returns, and as the word spread, saw the scope of the need in our community for this service.
In 2015, Goodwill Easterseals prepared about 1,000 returns, resulting in $1.2 million in refunds and an additional $600,000 in Earned Income Tax Credit for low and moderate income families. We are very fortunate to be a part of the SAFE Coalition and be able to serve the community through this program.
You can help serve too! Let others know about it by spreading the word at church or with friends, family, and social networks. Encourage your employees and co-workers to take advantage of this free service, become a VITA volunteer tax preparer, or join the SAFE Coalition by becoming a partner agency! To become involved or find out more information, contact Goodwill Easterseals at 251-471-1581.
To learn about filing your taxes through VITA for free, click HERE
United Way press release about EITC Day: