From United Way of Broome County:
VESTAL, NY – With another tax season complete, United Way of Broome County, 211 Susquehanna River Region, and the Broome County Department of Social Services (DSS) are pleased to announce that the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) tax sites returned over $1.4 million in combined federal and New York State tax refunds to local residents. The VITA program provides free tax preparation for low- to mid-income households bringing in $66,000 or less, with a special focus on tax credits, such as the earned income tax credit, child tax credits, elderly credits, dependent care credits, and college credits, often unclaimed without expert knowledge.
This tax season, over 870 households turned to the 211 Susquehanna River Region Contact Center to schedule tax assistance appointments with United Way of Broome County and DSS; in total, $1,434,371. in tax refunds were processed, with an additional estimated savings of over $263,100 in tax prep costs to participants, based on IRS estimates. The total value provided to the community was $1,803,482.32 when combining savings in tax prep fees, refunds, and in-kind value and time.
The VITA tax sites at United Way of Broome County, and DSS were made possible by the efforts of 27 volunteer tax preparers, including students from Binghamton University. These students and individuals underwent a rigorous schedule of trainings and examinations to become IRS-certified, and ultimately contributed 3,196 volunteer hours over the course of the tax season, valued at $106,011.32 based on the hourly value of the independent sector for volunteers working in New York. “The volunteer’s dedication to the program is reflected in their willingness to step-out-of-the-box and be flexible. They have been very open to adjusting their schedules and taking extra steps to meet the complexities that have resulted in changes due to the pandemic,” shared LoriAnne Welch, Executive Director, United Way of Broome County. “We are extremely thankful for the dedicated efforts of these volunteers.”
To learn more about United Way of Broome County’s work in the community, or to get involved with ongoing volunteer efforts, please visit www.uwbroome.org.