“This time of year is always stressful for many and I really appreciated the service and compassion I received. Thank you for helping to ease this burden.” This was the thank you message tax client Alyssa sent after having her taxes prepared and filed for free by Common Heart volunteers just a few weeks ago.
It was a record-breaking tax season with 11 volunteer preparers filing 720 income tax returns this year, resulting in total refunds of $743,684 and an average return of $1,433. The average yearly adjusted gross income for these neighbors was $30,430. 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 $172,800.
This was the 12th 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 $60,000 or less were eligible for the free assistance.
Site Supervisor Selda Osborne said she’s “extremely proud” of the volunteer team for all their hard work this year. They helped people from all walks of life including college students, retirees, teachers, government employees, retail workers and many more.
“These volunteers really went the extra mile to help our neighbors with this key community service,” she said. “I’m so proud of how hard these volunteers worked and how kind they were to each and every client they served. From our volunteer greeters who help with appointments and check-in to the preparers, everyone did a fantastic job.”
If you’re interested in volunteering to help with next year’s tax service, email Volunteer.CommonHeart.org.