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May 14th Newsletter – MASSCAP

Massachusetts Association for Community Action

Road to Opportunity: Finding the Way Forward
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MASSCAP newsletter – May 14, 2019
Special Edition: Fight Poverty by Supporting VITA sites

SUPPORT SENATE AMENDMENT 12

We urge you to support resources for free tax preparation for low-income workers through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites (1201-0100) - $800,000 - in the FY20 budget, and Senate Amendment 12 by Senator Diana DiZoglio and Senator James Welch .

Read our Press Release: Free Tax Prep for Low-Income Wage Earners Threatened

DID YOU KNOW: Free Tax Prep Fights Poverty

  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites provide free tax prep by IRS-certified volunteers.
  • VITA sites provide access to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) as well as other tax credits.
  • The EITC and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) have kept 150,000 people out of poverty in MA by helping them to bridge the wage gap.
  • 44% of Americans cannot cover a $400 unexpected expense.

More information and access the data: Obstacles on the Road to Opportunity: Finding a Way Forward, May 2018

Learn more!  Watch our webinar – What We All Need to Know About Poverty in Massachusetts – featuring report author, Nancy Wagman, Kids Count Director, MassBudget.

POLICY MATTERS: Creating Opportunity

The state support and funding for policies and programs that create opportunity is critical.  We are advocating for policies that strengthen families, bridge the wage gap, create economic opportunity and strengthen the human services infrastructure.

We urge you to support resources for free tax preparation for low-income workers through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites (1201-0100) – $800,000 – in the FY20 budget, and Senate Amendment 12 by Senator Diana DiZoglio and Senator James Welch.

Did You Know:

  • There is a network of 80 VITA sites (close to half run by Community Action Agencies) in MA serving +30,000 annually
  • +1,300 Volunteers give +40,000 hours donating +$2M in tax prep services
  • VITA = great investment with ROI of 60:1
  • VITA provides access to Earned Income Tax Credit #EITC and Child Tax Credit #CTC: $60M in tax credits returned annually
  • VITA is FREE - saves taxpayer cost of preparation (average of $300)
  • VITA links taxpayers to the other critical services
  • VITA promotes savings and financial literacy
  • There are an estimated 75,000 left unserved in MA.

Learn more about the running a VITA site.

Learn more about Community Action VITA sites.

Learn more about our full list of FY20 Public Policy Priorities.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: VITA & EITC Provide Opportunity

Community Action Pioneer Valley (CAPV) VITA site helped a senior woman file her taxes for the past two years. Her only income is Social Security Income and she had no idea she was eligible for the Circuit Breaker tax credit.  The CAPV Volunteer preparer not only brought her current with her taxes but through accessing the Circuit Breaker tax credit brought her a return of $2,000.

Read more about how VITA changes lives.

CONTINUING THE CONVERSATION

We urge you to support the FY20 priorities so that together we can move forward on the road to opportunity.  Visit our Public Policy Priorities page for more information.

www.masscap.org

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