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United Way of Central Texas kicks off 2021 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program

Temple, Belton, Harker Heights and Killeen VITA sites will open the week of February 1.
Credit: AP

TEMPLE, Texas — United Way of Central Texas and its community partners Heart of Texas Goodwill Job Connection, Central Texas Housing Consortium, Temple College, Harker Heights YMCA, Texas A&M-Central Texas, Grace Christian Center and the McLane School of Business at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, will kick-off the 2021 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program at the end of January. 

Temple, Belton, Harker Heights and Killeen VITA sites will open the week of February 1. To schedule an appointment, please call the United Way of Central Texas office at 254-778-8616.

In 2020, the UWCT VITA volunteers prepared nearly 1,000 free tax returns for Central Texans and brought in over $1.3 Million in refunds and nearly $450,000 in Earned Income Tax Credits to the community. VITA volunteers are IRS certified and knowledgeable in EITC providing basic income tax return services without charge, ensuring 100% of the tax refund goes directly to the customer, the United Way of Central Texas said.

National Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day is January 29. The Earned Income Tax Credit and is broadly considered our nation’s most effective pro-work, anti-poverty tool. The EITC is a refundable federal tax credit for lower-income working people that encourages and rewards work, offsetting the federal payroll and income taxes, and giving low to moderate-income working families a stronger possibility of financial stability, advancing the common good and creating opportunities for all.

Research suggests that EITC positively affects children and families far beyond the limited timeframe during which families claim the credit. In fact, studies show that the EITC improves child health and academic achievement, increasing the likelihood of college attendance and improving prospects for higher earnings when children become adults.  Only those who work are eligible, allowing them to keep more of what they earn, the United Way of Central Texas said.

When tax season arrives, VITA volunteers dedicate themselves to preparing hundreds of tax returns for Central Texas residents. Helping a family complete a tax return offers instant gratification as a volunteer.

This is UWCT’s twelfth year to provide tax assistance to the community. Clients eligible to have their taxes prepared for free must make less than $55,000 a year last year, the average client income was about $24,000 per year. 

For more information about the United Way of Central Texas, visit the United Way of Central Texas website.

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