The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a financial toll on households throughout the country, North Central West Virginia included. But thanks to Tygart Valley United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, 442 households received the tax credits they deserved.
As one of NCWV’s free sites for the 2021 tax year, the TVUW VITA program, a drop off and on-site service, allowed clients to have their taxes prepared with ease. For West Virginians, maximizing this year’s tax refund is crucial and can help a household survive. 27 IRS-trained and certified volunteers ensured taxpayers received all the credits for which they were eligible and helped put over $455,050 back into the pockets of residents.
“We are proud to offer this service to our region,” said Brett White, Chief Executive Officer. “This VITA program is a vital resource to families and individuals throughout the Tygart Valley and we plan to continue to improve and expand the offerings.”
With only three years under their belts, TVUW has partnered with the IRS to provide the VITA program. This program is offered annually from January through Tax Day to assist families and individuals with low to moderate incomes prepare their tax returns for free. With no cost to clients, households could save an average of $250 in tax preparation fees, amounting in over $110,500 saved.
“Receiving tax refunds and eligible credits is a critical financial need for families and individuals alike,” added White.
The site filed a total of 442 tax returns, with an average refund of $1,207 per household. Residents received $87,158 in Earned Income Tax Credits, $64,000 in Child Tax Credits, and $6,281 in Education Tax Credits. While many families are counting every penny to pay for essentials, they can now use this money to purchase groceries, cover rent or mortgage payments, or rebuild emergency savings.
This program would not be possible without the support of our community, including WV Alliance for Sustainable Families, North Central WV Community Action, MVB Bank, AmeriCorps NCCC, West Virginia University and Fairmont State University students, Taylor County Board of Education, Tucker County Board of Education, Barbour County Community Garden Market, Camp Mountaineer, and the IRS-certified volunteers who generously contributed their time.
If you would like to learn more about becoming a VITA volunteer or sponsor, please contact Casey Gilbert, Community Impact Director at (304) 366-4550, Ext 102 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.