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Free tax preparation is available to Saginaw County residents who cannot afford to have their taxes prepared for them thanks to the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program and amazing community volunteers.
Last year, 60 dedicated volunteers were able to assist more than 2,900 taxpayers. In total, the volunteers gave more than 4,300 hours of their time to help prepare 5,745 tax returns. These outstanding efforts resulted in more than $3.4 million brought back to our community.
In addition to the statistical accomplishments the program achieved in 2011, we were able to focus on expanding the program for 2012 as well as increase our financial education efforts. In 2011, we were able to pilot a site at Rauchholz Memorial Library in Hemlock. This added a new location to the VITA map as well as prepared us for an official site to be held there in the future. We were also able to work with students at Freeland High School to help train and prepare them so they could host a site in 2012. Not only did this add another location to the VITA map, it also allowed us to be one of only two sites in the state of Michigan working with high school students. We received grants from Bank of America, the IRS and the Walmart Foundation. Also, thanks to an opportunity through the Michigan Association of United Ways, we were able to add an AmeriCorps Community Resource Navigator position to help us focus more on financial education.
Thank you to all of our dedicated volunteers, site coordinators and supporters who help make this program a major success for Saginaw County.
In order for this program to continue and grow, we need your help! We are always in need of volunteers, young and seasoned. The more volunteers that we have, the more we can serve our community. If you are interested in getting involved with the VITA program, in any capacity, please contact Marsha Cooley at (989) 755-0505, ext. 203.
Program Description: The VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program, which has been in existance for more than 40 years, provides free tax return preparation by trained volunteers to qualifying taxpayers.
- The Saginaw County VITA program is coordinated by United Way.
- EITC (Earned Income Tax Credits) are used to determine client eligibility fpr free tax preparation.
- For more than 20 years, Yeo & Yeo CPAs have continued to prepare and facilitate federal tax return training with donated staff time. This training is attended by volunteers from the Saginaw, Bay and Midland programs.
- The sites have been established in the Saginaw County community through the use of donated space.