Showing posts from December, 2020

Help Us Advocate for Increased Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Funding!

The Consumer Credit Counseling Service Niagara County Financial Literacy & Empowerment Coalition has run a VITA FREE Tax Prep Program for the past 7 years . VITA (it stands for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) helps low income individuals and families file their taxes—and access eligible tax credits, like the Earned Income Tax Credit, which ranges from $506-$6,269. It saves people hundreds of dollars in unnecessary tax preparation fees and helps them avoid refund anticipation loans and inflated filing fees. The average cost of tax prep is around $300 and refund anticipation loans typically cost about $200 per filer. This makes the cost of filing taxes $500 or more! This problem is compounded by the plentiful for profit tax prep companies that specifically operate in low income neighborhoods, making it so easy for people to get their taxes done…as long as they ignore the high cost. There are over 40 of these predatory companies in Niagara Falls and Lockport and sadly only a f