Anyone who has been through a single tax season knows the burden of being a VITA volunteer can be great. Long nights, delayed dinners, and time away from family are only a few of the sacrifices. And they keep coming back – but why?
NCTC followed four VITA volunteers from different parts of the country throughout the 2012 tax season to gain perspective on their motivations, goals, challenges, and more. The results were enlightening, but certainly not surprising.
Today, we’re releasing a new report, “The Volunteer Experience: Men and Women Who Make Free Tax Preparation Work,” to demonstrate the extraordinary energy and enthusiasm that volunteers bring to free tax preparation sites each year.
Some of the highlights include: Read the rest of this entry
According to this year’s data, NCTC members’ tax preparation sites have seen an amazing 350% increase in yearly returns filed since NCTC was founded ten years ago. The community VITA field prepared 1,618,332 federal returns this last tax season, with total refunds to clients exceeding $2 billion.
This data, collected through NCTC’s annual National Program Survey, is truly inspiring and reflects the ability of our members to overcome significant challenges.
Notable findings from the survey include:
Started over a decade ago, United Way of King County’s VITA program, known as the “Free Tax Campaign,” is an active leader in promoting economic stability in Western Washington. In 2012, 650 volunteers filed 14,400 returns across 16 tax sites. The growth of the Free Tax Campaign is largely due to ongoing evaluation and adaptation. Reflecting on the pitfalls and success that we have experienced, we would like to offer some thoughts to consider before you start a VITA program in your community. Read the rest of this entry
Even weeks past the tax-filing season, VITA issues remain important topics. Congress is still working on a federal budget whose details will have great bearing on VITA services for the coming year. Federal VITA Grant applications are due May 31 (just a reminder!). And at NCTC, we believe Memorial Day offers a great opportunity to highlight the critical yet often-overlooked role of Military VITA programs in delivering vital services to taxpayers in need of help. Read the rest of this entry
In celebration of Volunteer Recognition Week, NCTC is offering a Sound Byte series of brief audio presentations (podcasts) that highlight ways to show your appreciation and gratitude to volunteers.
These new Sound Bytes will cover a wide range of topics for the field to learn from.
Please take a few minutes to gain insight and to learn new ideas related to thanking and retaining your volunteers by listening to these recordings.
How does your free tax preparation program compare to others in its field? How do other programs train their volunteers and ensure quality returns? NCTC’s 2011 National Program Survey throws light on these questions.
The IRS reported at the beginning of May that community VITA programs completed 1,287,344 returns (excluding paper returns) worth $1,972,554,273 in total refunds. NCTC’s annual survey data (submitted by 126 programs) represents about 57% of returns for this field. Read the rest of this entry