When you make $10 an hour, paying upwards of $150 to file taxes can mean not having the rent money that month.
Along with the upfront cost, people generally don’t maximize their deductions. That’s why WorkLife Partnership is working with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, or VITA, again this year to help bring free tax filing services to our member companies as a benefit of our year-round work. These services are available through VITA to families earning less than $55,000 yearly and single people earning under $35,000 annually.
VITA is able to help people maximize deductions and secure important credits, including the earned income tax credit (EITC).
When families use for-profit tax prep, they are sometimes charged for each page that is printed. This tactic makes it hard for people living paycheck to paycheck. Many of our clients, who generally earn $9.50 to $11 an hour, are unable to afford printing each page to take advantage of the EITC – despite its overall monetary worth to them. Talk about a catch-22.
Worth a Week Of Wages
Our clients saved an average of $350 by filing through VITA. In real terms, this equates to nearly a week of work – or 35 hours of pay. For many people, who live paycheck to paycheck, they depend on each week’s wages to cover rent, buy food, and pay bills.
WorkLife Partnership is the only organization in Colorado providing VITA services within the workplace with the support of our employer members. Last year, we visited eight different workplaces in partnership with Denver Asset Building Coalition, which offers tax prep and financial education.
Last year, we helped nearly 120 families file their taxes at no cost to them. This savings reduces stress and helps them keep the money they have earned to buy the necessities of life for them and their children.
WorkLife Partnership clients, find your Navigator here to get your taxes filed.