More than $10 million in tax refunds for local residents have been processed through United Way of Williamson County’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program since the program’s inception in 2010.
IRS-certified VITA volunteers have filed 6,700 returns for low-to-moderate income wage-earners since United Way of Williamson County expanded the program more than seven years ago.
The most recent tax season saw a record of 1,515 returns filed at the four United Way of Williamson County run VITA sites, a 16% increase over last year. More than 2,400 volunteer hours were donated by 36 volunteers who helped clients receive $2.3 million in refunds and more than $750,000 in Earned Income Credits.
This program is part of an on-going effort to stabilize families and improve the financial security of low-to-moderate income households and elderly residents in Williamson County by increasing access to free income tax preparation services. United Way of Williamson County provides help during the tax season at locations in Georgetown, Hutto, Leander and Taylor.
“The $10 million that our clients have received in refunds over the past 7 years has helped families and benefits the local economy. Many of our clients use refunds and savings to put food on the table, pay rent or bills, make car repairs, reduce debt, or build savings. Ultimately this programs helps individuals and families take steps toward achieving financial stability,” United Way of Williamson County Chief Professional Officer LeAnn Powers said.
In addition to United Way of Williamson County, AARP Tax-Aide and Foundation Communities operate free tax preparation sites in Williamson County in partnership with the IRS. The cities of Cedar Park, Hutto, Leander, Round Rock, and Taylor, as well as Sun City and The Caring Place in Georgetown joined the three lead organizations to provide the tax services to local residents again this year.
During the 2017 tax season, 4,436 families and individuals received over $6 million in tax refunds at one of the nine free tax sites located in Williamson County. It is estimated that these free tax preparation services saved each household an estimated $300 dollars in tax preparation fees; resulting in a cumulative savings of more than $1.3 million dollars.
For more information about the free tax preparation sites, or to become a partner in this work, visit www.WilcoFreeTaxPrep.org or call (512) 255-6799.