I’m writing to let the neighborhood know about an exciting volunteer opportunity. The New York City Financial Network Action Consortium operates VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) sites in conjunction with our credit union partners and other community based organizations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. We work with the Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union(http://www.brooklyn.coop/) to operate VITA sites out of branches in Bed-Stuy and Bushwick.
Last tax season our VITA Program prepared 10,318 tax returns for low-income New Yorkers, resulting in more than $15 million in refunds to low-income communities, with 3329 working filers qualifying for over $6.48 million in Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs). We also integrated public benefits screening into the tax preparation process this year and succeeded in screening 97% of our VITA clients for food stamps and low or no cost health insurance.
Since its launch in 2003, NYCfNAC’s VITA Program has prepared over 36,000 tax returns worth $48.3 million and assisted over 11,000 low-income tax payers to receive $22.4 million in EITC refunds.
Our greatest need is for volunteers who can prepare tax returns for our VITA clients. In order to qualify to volunteer as a Tax Preparer with VITA, you:
• must certify at the Basic level on the IRS’s “Link and Learn” test by January 3rd;
• must commit to a regular weekly volunteer schedule of four hours per week from January 18th through April 18th
• must attend an in-person training on a Friday or Saturday in January or over the course of two evenings.
While these requirements can seem daunting, no prior tax experience is needed. Additionally volunteering at one of the VITA sites provides an economic lifeline to low-income people.
We also need volunteer Intake Workers, and Translators. Please visit our VITA Hub at http://volunteer.nycfnac.org/ to learn more about our VITA Program and to fill out a volunteer contact form.
If you are an individual who makes under $18,000 or a member of a family that makes under $50,000 you would be eligible to take advantage of this free tax preparation service. Visit http://volunteer.nycfnac.org/vita-site-listings to find locations and hours.
New York City Financial Network Action Consortium
209 East 3rd St
New York, New York 10009
(Tel) 212-254-6060 ext 103