5 Things to Know for VITA’s Birthday

VITA birthday

This year, we are celebrating 50 years of VITA! Back in 1969, the first VITA program began operating. But that’s not the only thing we are celebrating! Earlier this year, Congress passed a bill to increase funding for the tax assistance program by 20%!

But you may be asking yourself, what is VITA? VITA stands for Volunteer Tax Income Assistance. Every year, VITA sites across the country help low-to-moderate income families prepare their taxes. Run by IRS-trained volunteers, this program helps families get the tax refund they need without having to pay for tax prep help.

Interested in visiting a VITA site for help with your taxes? Click here to find a site closest to you.

5 Things You Need to Know for VITA’s birthday

VITA is turning 50!

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program began operation in 1969, and provides free, high-quality tax preparation for low to moderate-income taxpayers. Currently, VITA is a matching grant program powered by IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers.

VITA brings back billions of dollars to communities across the country.

VITA’s volunteer tax preparers help hardworking Americans access the tax credits they’ve earned, like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). By filing for EITC, families are able too become financially stable by expanding their income enough to pay for rent, reliable transportation to work, and groceries. Already this year, nearly 1,800 people utilized a VITA site in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties!

Congress recently increased funding for the VITA program.

In the latest spending package to pass Congress (FY19), funding for the VITA program was increased by 20% to $18 million. We’re grateful that decision makers recognize the value of VITA and the service it provides to our community. Join us in thanking Congress for their support!

Most VITA programs operate at full capacity.

While the recent increase in funding was great news, the truth is that many VITA programs operate at full capacity and unfortunately are not able to serve all those eligible in their communities. But with additional funding, more people could get the help they need with tax prep! Therefore, we’re calling on Congress to further shore up investments in the program for Fiscal Year 2020. You can make a difference by adding your organization to this sign-on letter, and by sending an email to your Member of Congress.

VITA is not a permanent program.

Since 2008 VITA has been a demonstration pilot program. Congress has to authorize it every year. We think a great 50th birthday present from Congress would be to make the program permanent! Ask your Member of Congress today!