Volunteers file record-breaking 887 tax returns … with kindness!

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Volunteers file record-breaking 887 tax returns … with kindness!

When “Susan” gave us a call to make a tax service appointment for her elderly father she was “blown away” by the kindness of our volunteers. Her father was charged $200 last year to file a simple return for just his Social Security and monthly pension from the City of Charlotte where he worked for decades. “I said, ‘Dad, you don’t have this extra money to spend. You qualify for this free service and they’re ready to help.’ From the first call, it was very clear that you really care and want to help people,” she said.

It was a record-breaking tax season with 10 volunteer preparers filing 887 income tax returns this year, taking the stress out of tax time for so many. The free service resulted in total refunds of $897,361 and an average return of $1,465 federal and $288 state. The average yearly adjusted gross income for these neighbors was $32,898. 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 $212,880. 

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 $64,000 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. 

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