Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
Granite United Way's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax preparation to low to moderate income households.
Many people go to commercial tax preparers when they do not need to, paying between $200-$300 for a simple tax return.
VITA is a free tax preparation program available to individuals and families with household incomes up to $60,000 annually. Taxes are prepared by IRS-certified volunteers who assist low-to-moderate-income residents to access the greatest amount of refunds.
This year more than $5.5 Million was returned in federal tax refunds, including over $2 Million in Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) to families and individuals struggling throughout our community. The EITC, coupled with the Child Tax Credit, has lifted 16,000 NH residents out of poverty, including 8,000 children, each year, on average. According to the IRS, about 1-in-4 eligible New Hampshire residents fail to file for the EITC, leaving an estimated $49 million unclaimed.
VITA strives to serve people who are underserved, such as those with disabilities, limited English language proficiency, grandparents raising their grandchildren, and people experiencing homelessness who are working, but not bringing in enough to put a roof over their heads. Our VITA volunteers are trained on all of the latest tax preparation changes and they help thousands of individuals and families throughout New Hampshire and Windsor County, Vermont.
Two ways to file for free
1. Visit nhtaxhelp.org to schedule a virtual appointment with an IRS-certified tax preparer (call 211 if you don't have internet access)
2. Visit MyFreeTaxes.com to prepare your own return, for free online, with guidance from a toll-free helpline.
VITA is more than just tax preparation
VITA puts critical financial resources back into underserved New Hampshire and Vermont residents' pockets, as well as into communities across the state that need it the most. The resources provided by VITA sites help to overcome the economic and personal hardships faced here in the Granite State.
While you are having your taxes prepared, our IRS-certified volunteers can help you with the following:
Build savings at tax time
Opt to split a portion of your refund into a savings account or US savings bond. 4-in-10 people of all income levels could not withstand an unexpected expense of $400 without going into debt. We encourage filers to split a portion of their refund at the time of filing. It can create a cushion in the event of a loss of income or an unexpected expense. All filers who opt to "split their refund" are also entered into a national savings incentive promotion to win cash prizes!
These tax incentives allow you to subtract the amount of the credit from the total you owe at filing in turn increasing the amount you get back in your tax refund. For many people, this extra money has allowed them to pay down debt, buy a car, and put a down payment on a house.
- The Child Tax Credit: for parents with dependents under 17 years of age
- Earned Income Tax Credit: for low- to moderate-income working individuals and couples, particularly those with children.
- The American Opportunity Tax Credit: for qualified education expenses paid for an eligible student for the first four years of higher education.
Interested in becoming a VITA Volunteer Tax Preparer?
Granite United Way VITA volunteers are part of a statewide effort that completes more than 5,000 federal tax returns each year, bringing more than $5.5 million back into the bank accounts of New Hampshire residents. VITA volunteers are needed to conduct intake as well as to prepare taxes. Training is provided, along with an IRS certification, and the average time commitment is 3-to-5 hours per week during tax season.
For more information about VITA contact Paula Gay, Asset Building Coordinator, at 603.224.2595 x316.
To view our VITA informational palm card click here.