Neighbors

Opportunity Council Offering Free Tax Preparation For Low-Income Residents


Provided by Bucks County Opportunity Council:

The Bucks County Opportunity Council offers free income tax preparation assistance to low-income residents through its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, VITA. Trained and certified volunteers are available in four locations throughout the county: Levittown, Warminster, Quakertown, and Newtown, February 1 through April 15. Individuals and families with a combined income of $54,000 or less are eligible for the program.

BCOC volunteers have helped over 10,000 families save over $20 million in refunds, tax credits and fees in the last 13 years. Money saved stays in the local economy as families generally spend returns on essentials such as food, clothing and school supplies. The program supports BCOC’s overall mission to reduce poverty and partner with the community to promote economic self-sufficiency. Many tax clients also access other services through BCOC which encourage financial literacy and long-term planning.

Millions of dollars in tax credits go unclaimed each year because many people don’t know about them or don’t know how to apply for them. According to the IRS, many individuals qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), but cannot afford professional tax assistance.

Volunteers are needed for all aspects of this program; tax preparers receive training and need to pass an exam to be certified. Others can assist in support roles such as greeting visitors and scheduling. The program is sponsored by the IRS, and supported locally by the Bucks County Foundation, KeyBank Foundation, and First National Bank & Trust of Newtown.

Office hours at each location vary, all are on evenings and weekends. Clients are served on a first-come, first served basis. For locations and times, and a list of what to bring to an appointment, visit http://www.bcoc.org/what-we-do/taxes/VITA/. My Free Taxes is a free online service for anyone who made $66,000 or less in 2017; a help-line is available to assist taxpayers in completing their tax return online at no charge- visit www.myfreetaxes.com.


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