The Bucks County Opportunity Council offers free income tax preparation assistance to qualifying residents through its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, VITA.
Individuals and families with a combined income of $54,000 or less are eligible for the program.
Trained and certified volunteers are available in five locations throughout the county: Bristol, Warminster, Quakertown, Newtown and Doylestown, through April 13.
The Bristol location has been moved to BCOC’s new Lower Bucks offices at 721 Veterans Highway.
BCOC volunteers have helped over 11,000 families save over $21.5 million in refunds, tax credits and fees in the last 14 years. Money saved stays in the local economy as families generally spend returns on essentials such as food, clothing and school supplies, for example.
The program supports BCOC’s overall mission to reduce poverty and partner with the community to promote economic self-sufficiency. Many who are helped continue to work with BCOC’s other services that encourage financial literacy and long-term planning.
Millions of dollars in tax credits go unclaimed each year because many people don’t know about them or don’t know how to apply for them. According to the IRS, many individuals qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), but cannot afford professional tax assistance.
Volunteers are needed for all aspects of this program; tax preparers receive training and need to pass an exam to be certified. Others can assist in support roles such as greeting visitors and scheduling.
The program is sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service, and supported locally by Foundations Community Partnerships, Bucks County Foundation, First National Bank & Trust Co. of Newtown, and BB&T.
Office hours at each location vary, but include weekdays, evening and weekends. Clients are served on a first-come, first-served basis. For locations and times, and a list of documents to bring to an appointment, visit bcoc.org