The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is an IRS initiative designed to support free tax preparation service for the underserved. This service helps low- to moderate-income individuals, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and limited English speakers file their taxes each year. While VITA has a target audience the program does not set limitations that require special circumstances to file, currently anyone with income less than $60,000 is eligible for free tax preparation services through VITA. VITA volunteers complete prior year returns, amended returns and ITIN (International Taxpayer Identification Number) in addition to basic returns. VITA is staffed by volunteers who want to make a difference in their communities. NRCA is partnered with Radford University to allow college students to volunteer for professional experience before graduation. ■ ■ ■ ■ Ms. S came in with a friend stating that she was there to only file her state taxes and was adamant that was all she needed to file. During the intake it was discovered she was retired, a non-filer and the long-time legal guardian and primary caregiver of her granddaughter. Ms. S was told that regardless of her status as a non-filer, she could file her federal return to receive the Child Tax Credit and the Advanced Child Tax Credit. After completing her return, Ms. S was to receive almost $5,000. She was informed that VITA volunteers could also file for 2019 and 2020. She stated that her granddaughter needed clothes, a computer for school and dental work. Ms. S reported that she cried every night about not having the resources to meet her granddaughter's needs. She returned to the office to allow us to prepare her previous year's returns and it resulted in her receiving almost $10,000.
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