Illinois News

Local tax assistance program has big impact

By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
Posted: May. 3, 2019 10:50 am

QUINCY -- United Way's local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program has been credited with helping 1,161 taxpayers this year, resulting in more than $1.7 million in income tax refunds in the Quincy area.

The VITA program is funded by the United Way and sponsored by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. This year's program was recognized for exceeding expectations and helping local families and individuals increase their income.

Morgan Parker, United Way's director of programs and services, and VITA coordinator Connie Sohn worked with 15 trained volunteers who served from Jan. 28 to April 15, logging 1,325 hours serving tax clients.

"Connie, Morgan and the dedicated volunteers are the secret sauce," said Todd Bale, executive director of United Way of Adams County.

"Of the $1.7 million in VITA refunds and rebates this year, $700,000 of that total is earned income credits, or outside money being piped into the local economy," Bale said. "Many of our partner agencies are using local United Way dollars to leverage 300 to 500% matches against state and federal grant monies. We all do these things and support these things out of our compassion, but we also have to start seeing the United Way partner network and all nonprofits are really investments in the preservation of a strong local economy."

Parker said the volunteers' "dedication to this program has made a huge impact in our community, and it showed achieving a 100% customer survey satisfaction rating."

VITA is a free service for families making household incomes under $55,000.

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