MANCHESTER —With tax season in full swing, Granite United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program has opened the doors to free tax preparation sites across the state. The program is a partnership with United Way, Citizens Bank, the IRS and AARP.
Individuals and families with household incomes $53,000 and below are eligible for free tax preparation through the site. Taxes are prepared by IRS-trained volunteers who are up to date on all of the tax codes and can assist low-to-moderate income residents of the state access the greatest amount of refunds.
“Last year we filed more federal tax refunds than we ever had – bringing $6.3 million back into the pockets of our neighbors who need it the most. In addition, our VITA Volunteers helped these same individuals and families access $2 Million in Earned Income Tax Credit which only helped to improve their financial situation,” said Patrick Tufts, President and CEO of Granite United Way. “We are working with partners like Citizen Bank to build stronger communities with greater financial stability.”
VITA sites are located in Salem, Manchester, on campus at Southern NH University, Concord, Laconia, Franklin, White River Junction, Windsor, and Littleton.
Last year, a ‘virtual’ site was piloted in Colebrook with the help of the AHEAD Program. Its success has led to additional ‘virtual’ sites that will be helping residents of the in Manchester with the help of HOMEteam and also in Conway and in Plymouth at Whole Village Family Resource Center. These ‘virtual’ sites allow residents in more remote areas to benefit from the program.
Scheduling an appointment is simple. Those interested can call 2-1-1 and schedule their appointment.
Another new feature to the program this year is online scheduling which can be done by following this link: http://nhtaxhelp.org/211/.
“The IRS projects 150 million returns to be filed this season. Based on the average cost of commercial tax preparation, that would mean spending $31.5 billion (with a B) by going to commercial preparers. ,” said Cary Gladstone, Director of Asset Building at Granite United Way. “Granite United Way’s VITA Program offers a free alternative to individuals and families who have a household income of $53,000. Not only will they save money on the tax preparation, they will learn about ways they can become stronger financially.”
Granite United Way also encourages self-filers with Internet access and a household income below $60,000 to take advantage of www.MyFreeTaxes.com. This provides access to filing software at no cost and a toll-free number to call for tax questions. It is sponsored by United Way Worldwide, Goodwill International and the National Disability Institute.
For more information on Granite United Way’s VITA program, contact Cary Gladstone at 603-224-2595 x223.