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Celebrating VITA, a Vital Taxpayer Service

Each year, IRS-certified volunteers and trained reviewers provide free tax preparation services to millions of low- and moderate-income Americans through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program — a widely available service that saves millions of people from paying to file their taxes. Today is VITA Awareness Day, designed to call attention to this valuable free tax assistance and thank the volunteers for their hard work.

VITA helps low- and moderate-income Americans keep more of their tax refund. For many low-income Americans, the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit provide a significant income boost in the form of a tax refund, which they can use to pay for necessities, repair their homes, maintain the cars that they use to commute to work, and in some cases, jumpstart their asset building and saving. Using a paid tax preparer — whose average fee is $273 — cuts into that refund.

VITA sites are community-based programs that go beyond tax preparation. Most sites connect taxpayers with banks and other financial resources, including financial education.

To learn more about free tax filing and refundable tax credits, visit CBPP’s Get It Back Campaign, a national effort to promote tax credits that provide critical support for low-income workers.