United Way Offers Free Tax Assistance for Local Low-Income Families

Jan 30, 2014, 14:00 ET from United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Once again this year, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ) will provide free tax assistance for low-income families from Western Montgomery County to the Jersey Shore through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, a locally-run IRS-supported tax preparation service that is free for residents making a total household income of less than $52,000 per year.

"For individuals and families struggling to make ends meet, a few extra dollars back in their pockets during tax season can make all the difference," says Jill Michal, president and CEO, UWGPSNJ. "Through VITA, we help more people in our region take advantage of valuable tax credits and receive refunds that can alleviate the stress caused by financial hardships. United Way works to ensure that every adult has access to the resources they need to help them achieve and sustain financial stability."

The IRS estimates that one in five eligible taxpayers miss out on one of the biggest boosters to family incomes – the Earned Income Tax Credit, a refundable credit that can return up to $6,143 per qualifying family – simply because they are unaware or do not file their taxes. Tax preparation done right can result in valuable tax credits for low-income workers that can be used to pay down debt, save for a home and build assets.

With UWGPSNJ's support, programs like VITA help improve financial stability for thousands of individuals and families throughout the region so they can take control of their futures, and in turn, reinvest back in their communities. During the 2013 tax season alone, VITA helped complete 26,000 tax returns, returning a collective $35 million to local taxpayers across the region.

UWGPSNJ mobilizes IRS-trained volunteers to assist qualified individuals with tax preparation ensuring that they obtain the full refund available. Individuals can receive free one-on-one tax filing support at tax assistance sites throughout the region. As part of its larger income agenda, UWGPSNJ also helps to connect working individuals  with resources for financial education, covering topics such as establishing good credit, budgeting and long-term money management skills to help them build assets and save for the future.

To learn more about VITA or to find a site near you, please visit UnitedForImpact.org/VITA.

About United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey
United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, serving communities in Pennsylvania's Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, and New Jersey's Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May and Cumberland counties, is part of a national network of more than 1,300 locally governed organizations that work to create lasting positive changes in communities and in people's lives. United Way engages the community to identify the underlying causes of the most significant local issues, develops strategies and pulls together financial and human resources to address them, and measures the results. United Way is advancing the common good in Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey by positively impacting the lives of people throughout the region in the areas of education, income, and health.

SOURCE United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey