Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)/Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
Asset building is becoming an increasingly important issue for Texas communities, and EITC and VITA have been essential components of United Ways of Texas’ comprehensive financial stability strategy for Texas over the past several years.
In 2006, UWT worked with the Internal Revenue Service and Bank of America to organize an EITC day in Houston, bringing in volunteers from across the state to process hundreds of tax returns for survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Through grants from United Way of America and Bank of America in 2007 and 2008, UWT has led a statewide initiative to increase the capacity of local EITC/VITA programs, particularly outside of the larger metropolitan areas. To date, participating communities have included Uvalde, Dalhart, Laredo, Longview, Corsicana and Corpus Christi. Local United Ways in many other communities are also involved in EITC/VITA outreach efforts.
In 2008, UWT and its partners were able to reinvest $115,239,469 into Texas communities through EITC/VITA programs. This large amount was no doubt influential in helping thousands of families take their first steps to financial freedom.
Throughout 2009 through 2011, UWT worked with local United Ways and other organizations in Texas communities to support EITC/VITA programs statewide.
EITC Awareness Day: Governor's Proclamation
Additionally, as a result of United Ways of Texas’ efforts in 2007, Governor Rick Perry declared January 31, 2008 ‘Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day’ in Texas. UWT’s member United Ways launched a statewide media campaign that ultimately increased their local EITC/VITA capacity. United Ways of Texas plans to continue its efforts to increase the breadth and depth of EITC/VITA outreach across the state with the help of its dedicated partners and members.
INCOME INITIATIVE RESOURCES
FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AND VITA
Dedicated volunteers are a key component to VITA site operations and EITC outreach. Engaging employees from local financial instituions can be a great strategy for bolstering your VITA site's volunteer base. Thanks to generous support from United Way Worldwide and Bank of America, United Ways of Texas was able to produce a booklet titled "Getting Involved with VITA: A Volunteering Guide for Financial Institution Empoloyees." This introductory guide to the basics of VITA site volunteering can serve as a great tool for local organizations to engage new volunteers from from the financial sector.
VITA HOW-TO MANUAL
Eager to get started with financial stability in your community, but not sure where to begin? United Ways of Texas, RAISE Texas, and the Internal Revenue Service - SPEC office have published a new toolkit entitled, "How to Start a VITA Site in Your Community: Bringing More Dollars Into the Local Economy While Supporting Families." The attached toolkit has been developed in order to provide organizations, institutions and collaborations with basic information for what VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) sites are, the basic steps for starting a VITA site and key operational activities necessary to successfuly operate a site.
2010 EITC TOOL-KIT
Is your community planning to participate in EITC outreach during the upcoming tax season? UWT has compiled a helpful tool-kit full of resources to assist members with financial stability work this year.
EITC Press Release Template (Word)
EITC Flyer (PDF)
Do You Qualify (PDF)
EITC FAQ (PDF)
Changes for 2010 (PDF)
Check out the IRS EITC Marketing Tool-Kit! The IRS produced several different marketing pieces for 2010, visit the links below to find resources to use in your community!