Spring is in the air! Birds are singing, snow is melting, clocks ‘spring ahead’ an hour at 2am on March 14th… and another sign of spring is that it’s time to file your Federal income taxes. Have you filed your 2020 taxes yet? If not, did you know there are free resources available to help low and moderate income households with tax preparation? These resources provide trained volunteers who can help you put together your tax return and maximize your refund – and unlike some of the paid preparers, if you qualify it won’t cost you a dime!
Commercial tax preparers often charge $200-$300 for a simple tax return… and many charge an additional fee or portion of your refund money so you can get it “earlier” – when fast direct deposit from the IRS is typically available at no charge. Put it together, and it means money that you could keep in your pocket for groceries and housing costs, instead of paying for a service you could be eligible to receive for free.
The VITA program has operated for over 50 years, offering free tax help to people who generally make $57,000 or less, persons with disabilities, and limited English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. Granite United Way has been offering VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) for many years to eligible households in New Hampshire, providing reliable free tax preparation services to low and moderate income households and making sure you receive any tax credits you are eligible for – like the Earned Income Tax Credit or the COVID relief Economic Impact Payments. To set up an appointment or learn more about VITA Sites, contact 211.
Because of safety precautions due to COVID, in-person VITA Sites are not available this year. It may take a couple weeks for a volunteer to respond to your request for assistance, so it’s important to call early.
Don’t let difficulty filing your taxes be a barrier to your independence or cost you more than you can afford; visit the VITA website or reach out to 211 today to find out what VITA can do for you!
Link to the VITA program: http://www.graniteuw.org/our-work/granite-united-way-initiatives/volunteer-income-tax-assistance
Adult Services from Future In Sight: https://futureinsight.org/adult-services-for-visually-impaired/
Sarah joined Future In Sight in December 2020 following nearly 14 years at Granite State Independent Living, most recently as the Director of Independent Living Services. At GSIL, Sarah led a team of managers and direct service professionals providing statewide services to people with a variety of disabilities, all focused on enhancing independence in the home and community.
Prior to GSIL, Sarah was a HUD-approved Housing Counselor, providing Homebuyer Education and Financial Fitness workshops and coaching sessions. Before her career with nonprofits, Sarah spent more than ten years in the banking industry, including as the Branch Manager of a community bank. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Franklin Pierce University.
Sarah is committed to programs and services which enhance and increase the independence of individuals affected by vision loss and blindness.