Each year thousands of dollars are left on the table because individuals and families don’t claim all the tax credits that they deserve. There are trained volunteers in our community that can ensure you get every penny coming to you through our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, a partnership between Metro United Way and the Louisville Asset Building Coalition.
We recently held a two-day “taxathon” to kickoff this tax season and promote this important VITA program in our community. Brandon White attended the taxathon and was impressed with the good service and felt that the experience took a lot of the stress out of the tax preparation process. Last year he went to a paid tax preparer and was told he would owe money to the IRS. Someone told him about and referred him to VITA and he actually received a refund! He typically uses his tax refund to catch up on bills but is hoping to be able to able to save some of it this year for purchasing a car and going back to school. He has a long-term goal of starting his own business and says he was confident he was given access to the best refund possible. “I tell other people about this service all the time. They are good people that offer friendly services,” Brandon says.
Mark, a Churchill Downs chef from Louisville and a single dad of four children, also had his 2018 tax return prepared during the taxathon. He has been using VITA for the past 3-4 years and was referred to VITA by the IRS after a paid preparer made a mistake on a tax return that had to be corrected and caused him to owe thousands of dollars to the IRS. He says his taxes were “a real mess” before VITA. Since his wages are garnished because of this debt to the IRS, he really appreciated the free services that the VITA program offers and knowing he leveraged every tax credit possible to ensure the largest refund.
If you or someone you know needs help with their taxes, call 2-1-1. Free tax preparation and financial literacy services are available for qualifying individuals and families in our community. You can also text your zip code to 8982111 or visit metrounitedway.org/211.