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

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

Bringing VITA to the forefront of tax talks this August

This summer, as elected officials continue talk about “tax reform,” we’re taking it as an opportunity to connect the dots between VITA and its importance to taxpayers. We’re doing this by supporting our members in their outreach to Congress, helping them to build and foster relationships with their legislators.

Congress’ “August recess” period is August 5 – September 6, when lawmakers will be home from Washington. That’s when we would like to encourage our members and VITA partners to have in-district meetings with their elected officials. 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

Taxpayers & the sequester: What’s next?

If there’s any good news for taxpayers regarding across-the-board federal budget cuts that began to take effect March 1, it’s that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not expect the so-called “sequester” to delay tax refunds this spring.

However, folks seeking help by visiting taxpayer assistance centers or calling the IRS’ help lines could face delays. Read the rest of this entry