Led by Community Link, CFSC agencies offer free tax preparation service
“Tax time is one of the most critical moments in the financial lives of low- and moderate-income households.”
—Sarah Halpern-Meekin, in “It’s Not Like I’m Poor: How Working Families Make Ends Meet
in a Post-Welfare World”
As the Charlotte community seeks solutions to our significant “opportunity gap,” one bright spot is the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
The VITA program is critical to connecting low- and moderate-income working families to the Earned Income Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC), refundable tax credits that are proven to help lift families out of poverty.
Community Link, a CFSC partner agency, is the local coordinator for the VITA program. In the 2017 tax season, other CFSC partner agencies decided to collaborate to offer a tax preparation site right in the Center to serve our mutual clients and the public.
“The CFSC site was incredibly successful,” says Community Link program coordinator Julia Bodden. “We exceeded our goals for how many tax payers we wanted to serve here, and had hundreds of referrals from our CFSC partner agencies.” The VITA program reached nearly 34,000 taxpayers this year, including 1,100 directly served as a result of CFSC’s collaborative referrals.
An added benefit of the collaboration was spreading awareness of the services available from CFSC. “So many taxpayers who came here didn’t even know about the Center and all the services available, so this program was a good opportunity to help people find other resources,” says Bodden.