A couple that saves together
VITA helped Kristina and Alex save more than $160 in tax-preparation fees
Kristina and Alex, both students at Sierra College in Rocklin, qualify for the VITA program and received free tax filing assistance, saving them more than $160 in tax-preparation fees at the Super Saturday VITA kick-off event on Jan. 30.
Better yet? The couple also put part of their tax return into their own savings account, helping them work towards their financial goals. Alex and Kristina were among the first filers to participate in a savings promotion made possible by a donation of 150 $10 gift cards from SAFE Credit Union. We have rewarded filers who put some or all of their refund into a savings account or bond with one of the gift cards. As of today almost all the cards are gone – 146 filers have saved over $180,000 through this promotion! Our VITA program has brought over $4.4 million in tax refunds to our Sacramento region, with a couple of weeks left to go before the April 18 filing deadline.
Filing taxes can be daunting. File on your own and risk errors and unclaimed tax credits or use a commercial tax preparer and pay hundreds of dollars in fees. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is the answer for thousands of families in the Capital region. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic tax return preparation with electronic filing for households that earned $54K or less in 2015 and inform taxpayers about special tax credits for which they may qualify, including the federal and state Earned Income Tax Credits.
Kristina and Alex worried about filing their taxes themselves, fearing they would make a mistake and get penalized. Sitting down with a VITA volunteer helped them feel at ease and learn about the credits they qualified for. They also received help splitting some of their tax return into a savings account. They plan on paying bills with the remaining return.
Save your hard-earned dollars and see if you qualify for valuable state and federal tax credits through April 18. Our VITA site appointments are full, but you can still self-file online at MyFreeTaxes.com if your household income was $62K or less in 2015. The website sponsored by United Way and powered by H&R Block software saves users an average of $200 in tax preparation fees. All you need is a valid email address and your income forms such as a W2, 1099, 1098, etc. The site includes certified tax help in English and Spanish via chat and phone.