Training Workshop(s) for VITA Tax Preparation Volunteers
Make a difference in your community by volunteering as part of Earn it! Keep it! Save it! - a free tax preparation clinic for households earning less thab $54,000/year. EKS is a project of the United Way of the Bay Area and supported by a coalition of local organizations. Comprehensive training is provided to all volunteers.
Please visit the EKS website to find out how to get started.
About Earn it! Keep it! Save it!
Here are the key benefits of free tax preparation and tax refunds on taxpayers and their households:
The tax help is FREE! — Did you know that paying to have your taxes prepared can cost $200 to $300 on average? And last year, the average AGI (adjusted gross income) of a VITA taxpayer we helped was ~$22,000! Households earning this amount or less than the $54,000 IRS limit for VITA truly cannot afford to pay, especially in the Bay Area where the cost of living is so high! By preparing tax returns for free, we save our taxpayers over $1M in tax prep fees alone. That means they are getting more of their refund dollars back (or at least do not have to pay fees on top of any amount owed on their tax return).
Awareness of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) -– Many taxpayers do not know about the EITC and that it is a refundable tax credit that can be up to $6,318 for a family with three qualifying children. EKS sites help families get all the credits they qualify for.
Helping taxpayers avoid refund anticipation loans -– When residents get an “instant refund” from a paid preparer, they are taking a loan out on their own money usually paying 300% interest. However, with direct deposit, an EKS site can e-file your tax return and have your refund deposited into your bank account in 7 to 10 days.
In addition to these crucial benefits, tax refunds have a long life in our communities. In fact, the tax refunds returned to low income households is spent locally and multiplies. From 2003-2010, Earn It! Keep It! Save It! created $228.5 million in local sales, 1,057 jobs and $55 million in wages. This gives our local economy a boost year after year!
How We Do It
We train volunteer tax preparers to help individuals and families claim their maximum benefit and refund. We partner with hundreds of community organizations and other free tax preparation providers such as Tax-Aid and AARP Tax-Aide to process over 80,000 tax returns each year. Through our free, quality tax return preparation, we provide low to moderate income households with access to asset building and income support resources such as public benefits, low or no cost bank accounts, and financial education. We also ensure eligible taxpayers claim income boosts such as the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).