HELPING FAMILIES BECOME FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT AND STABLE
June 29, 2015
Families in Jackson are getting ahead!
Jackson’s working poor are getting their money back. United Way of Jackson County supports the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. The Community Action Agency recruits and trains volunteers to prepare free taxes for qualifying families. Just last year this program was responsible for bringing nearly $5 million back to Jackson County. Tax return money that otherwise wouldn’t be there. Those dollars and cents are being spent at local grocery stores, going to purchase clothing for children, paying bills to help keep the lights on, it’s money that is being spent in Jackson County by families who need it most. Here is just one example of the impact that is being made by the VITA program.
A client came to have her current and previous year’s taxes prepared. During the interview with the volunteer tax preparer, she asked what the preparer knew about filing bankruptcy. He said he really did not know anything about filing bankruptcy. The client replied that she was thinking she might have to file bankruptcy because her paycheck was being garnished and she had other debts issues. She was left with these debt issues when her boyfriend left her and they were causing significant stress in her life. The client’s job provided sufficient income to support her and her child, but not enough to also pay off the old debts. The volunteer tax preparer conducted the intake interview with the client and completed her current and outstanding tax returns. The client’s federal and state refunds totaled $6,688 and the previous refunds totaled $5,271. The client thanked the volunteer tax preparer through her tears because with these refunds she would be able to repay her debts and get her car fixed!