Common Heart volunteers file 515 tax returns … with kindness!
When Wendy arrived for her tax appointment at Common Heart she was distraught and almost in tears. The 78-year-old grandmother did her own taxes last year (incorrectly) and she didn’t know how to fix the problem let alone how to file for 2021. Common Heart VITA free income tax volunteers to the rescue!
It took three Common Heart volunteer IRS certified tax preparers almost 2 hours, but the problems were fixed and her taxes filed. Wendy was overjoyed.
“It was with kindness, gentle humor, and great expertise that the three volunteers all helped. Their skills eased my anxiety and sorted out my problem,” she said. “I am filled with gratitude for their kindness. They turned my ‘almost tears’ when I first sat down to being relaxed and smiling when I left.”
Volunteers filed 515 income tax returns this year, resulting in total refunds of $659,903 and an average return of $1,987. The average yearly adjusted gross income for these neighbors was $29,711. According to the IRS, the average cost to have a tax return prepared is $240 which means tax volunteers saved our neighbors a total of $123,600.
This was the 11th year Common Heart offered free tax services, which are completed by trained and certified volunteers as part of the national Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, program. This year’s service was a continued partnership with fellow nonprofit Community Link.
Individuals and families with an annual household income of $58,000 or less were eligible for the free assistance.
Site Supervisor Bruce Gorrell said he’s “extremely proud” of his volunteer team for all their hard work this year. They helped people from all walks of life including college students, retirees, teachers, government employees, and many more.
“These volunteers really went the extra mile to help our neighbors with this key community service,” he said. “Despite the challenges of COVID, we knew we wanted to be open this year because so many of our neighbors count on this help.”