Worcester Community Action Council recently hosted a thank you reception for its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program volunteers. This year’s group logged 620 volunteer hours, preparing a total of 895 returns (up over 710 returns prepared in 2014) and generating over $1.5 million dollars in refunds (up over the $1,060,100 generated in 2014). Special thanks to the team of volunteers from UNUM, pictured above with WCAC Board Chair and UNUM Senior VP Steve Joseph, which has been a strong supporter of the VITA program.

VITA volunteers with WCAC staff (compressed for web)WCAC participates in the VITA program through the Worcester Free Tax Service Coalition which works to promote free tax preparation services available to individuals and families who qualify. IRS-certified volunteers prepare taxes and specifically look for tax credits the household may be eligible for, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC) and other credits. Some households with children are eligible for tax refunds of over $6,000. Utilizing the free tax preparation services allows families to retain their full refund, avoiding typical preparation fees which can often run into the hundreds of dollars.

WCAC is among the Coalition’s 20 members city wide, comprised of a collaboration of businesses, financial institutions and non-profit organizations who work to promote free income tax credit benefits to low and moderate income working individuals and families as a strategy to build household assets and increase economic self-sufficiency.