Blog Archives

Tax reform and federal budget proposal season is in full swing

broken_budgeting_onpageThe recent releases of House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp’s tax reform discussion draft and President Obama’s 2015 budget proposal are out for review, and the Community VITA field will have plenty of reason to keep our eyes on both. Not the least of which are the two plans’ proposals to reform the Earned Income Tax Credit. Read the rest of this entry

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Federal Budget Deal Likely to Pass – But What Does It Mean?

Chart produced by Center for American Progress

Chart produced by Center for American Progress

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to approve the bipartisan budget agreement reached by Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray, and the Senate is expected to vote to pass this deal as soon as Tuesday, Dec. 17, in time for members of Congress to head back to their home states for the holiday recess. Read the rest of this entry

VITA updates create new opportunities for August advocacy

broken_budgeting_onpageVITA is in season in Washington, D.C. with recent news emerging from the U.S. House, Senate, and the IRS. Appropriations bills for the next fiscal year have now been put forward by committees in both houses with new challenges and opportunities for the VITA grant program. And the VITA Act has now been reintroduced in the Senate as well as the House. Add to this the latest news on VITA quality from the IRS, and there’s an impressive backdrop of news to inform your August recess in-district Congressional meetings. Read the rest of this entry

VITA: On Congress’ radar screen

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (left) – here visiting with Center for Economic Progress Tax Site Manager Denise Bauch at a program in suburban Chicago – has joined nearly 50 Congressional colleagues in calling for strong VITA resources.

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (left) – here visiting with Center for Economic Progress Tax Site Manager Denise Bauch at a program in suburban Chicago – has joined nearly 50 Congressional colleagues in calling for strong VITA resources.

It’s good to see the value of VITA reemerging in key federal policy communications recently – the product of strong efforts by advocates and Congressional champions alike.

For example, as lawmakers begin to focus on budget decisions, nearly 50 of them have personally endorsed the need to ensure strong resources for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance in Fiscal Year 2014. Read the rest of this entry

A budgetary bright spot for VITA

vita_volunteer_1_0President Obama’s call for substantially bolstering VITA reflects important recognition of the program’s great value to struggling taxpayers – and the VITA field’s strong advocacy efforts. And while chances of its enactment as-is are practically nil, it nonetheless challenges us to strengthen our advocacy work.

The federal matching grant for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance would grow to $18 million in Fiscal Year 2014, under the budget proposal the President unveiled Wednesday. That’s up from its $12 million level of recent years. Read the rest of this entry

Competing budgets; competing priorities

broken_budgeting_onpageThis week, the U.S. House and Senate voted upon each chamber’s respective majority budget resolution for fiscal year 2014. While the House budget passed in the House and the Senate budget is expected to pass in its own chamber in the next day or so, neither of these competing plans has much chance of being enacted or funded through the actual appropriations process. The Congressional Progressive Caucus has also released its own, “Back to Work Budget,” which is even less likely to be enacted, which picked-up only 84 votes in the House. Read the rest of this entry