News release from the United Way of Allen County, dated June 1, 2011 – see the webmaster’s note at the end of this post:
Free Tax Prep Program Brings $2.5 Million Back to Community
(June 1, 2011) – Newly compiled statistics show that low- and moderate-income Allen County residents claimed approximately $2.5 million in tax credits this year, thanks to the Free Tax Preparation Program coordinated by United Way of Allen County and the Volunteer Center @ RSVP. This is a 19 percent increase over last year’s $2.1 million. A total of 1,587 area residents received free tax assistance provided by dozens of IRS trained and certified tax volunteers.
Additionally, the program saved residents fees for tax preparation and e-filing (approximately one-third of participants paid to have their taxes done last year). It also saved untold amounts in anticipatory loans with high interest rates that residents would have had to pay back to businesses filing taxes for a fee.
The program is coordinated by the Financial Stability Partnership, which is led by the Volunteer Center @ RSVP and United Way of Allen County. Residents earning less than $49,000 annually may qualify for free tax preparation, as well as the Earned Income Tax Credit, a federal anti-poverty program that provides tax credits up to $5,000 for low-income, working families. The trained volunteer tax preparers worked at Community Action of NE Indiana, St. Mary’s Church, the Euell A. Wilson Center and the League for the Blind & Disabled.
“New to the program this year is our effort to reach out to individuals with disabilities,” said Todd Stephenson, president & CEO of United Way of Allen County. “A VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) grant helped approximately 200 people with disabilities get the transportation and assistance they needed to file their taxes and claim the EITC.”
“Most people we help use their refund to pay their bills,” said Jean Joley, Volunteer Center @ RSVP executive director. “This effort is critical to those individuals who are simply trying to accomplish the basics – pay for food, medical care and transportation.”
Members of the Financial Stability Partnership include: Volunteer Center @ RSVP, United Way of Allen County, AARP, Community Action of NE Indiana, St. Mary’s Church, Euell A. Wilson Center, The League for the Blind and Disabled, The City of Fort Wayne, Hispanic Leadership Coalition of Northeast Indiana, PNC Bank, Three Rivers Federal Credit Union, Public Service Credit Union, Wells Fargo Bank, Fifth Third Bank, Purdue Cooperative Extension Service, Internal Revenue Service, American Red Cross – Multicultural Exchange (MIX), Catholic Campaign for Human Dignity, Fire Police City County Federal Credit Union, First Source Bank, Consumer Credit Counseling Service and U.S. Senator Richard G. Lugar’s Northeast Indiana Community Service Center.
Webmaster’s note I have several news releases from various organizations sitting in my inbox. Part of the mission of this blog is to keep a historic running record of the goings on in Fort Wayne. To that end, even though they are out of date, I am including this older news release.