OASIS VITA TAX ASSISTANCE – To most of us, the phrase ‘Tax Season’ elicits feelings of dread, overwhelming piles of receipts and needed paperwork, and either forking out hard-earned cash to hire a professional or summoning the will to attempt filing on your own.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
At Oasis of Hope’s VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) center, our accountants are counting down until opening day begins and they will gladly dig into your numbers, help you find all the earned income credits you are due, present your needed information to the IRS, and send you on your way with no stress, a smile on your face, and tell you they are willing to do all of this at absolutely NO charge!
WHY? Because we care. Because we enjoy investing in more than just money, and want to invest in people too. We realize that by providing trusted and IRS trained volunteers, we are building relationships with North Memphis and offering them an honest, reliable way of filing returns at no cost with one of our main goals being to find each person all the earned income tax credits they are eligible for, as well as, saving them all the filing fees other companies charge. This saves many low-income families hundreds of dollars every year and puts these precious dollars back into their households and our community. The impact is not only individual, but positively effects the local economy as a whole.
“We have many repeat customers who come to us every year,” says former VITA Project Coordinator, Doug Edwards. ”One lady who stood out to me a couple of years ago had just lost her mother after also losing her father the previous year. In addition, she was dealing with her own health issues and had recently lost her job, so she was very much in a world of grief and needed someone to talk with and listen. I spent about an hour with her, not only reviewing her taxes but also talking about her situation and helping to boost her spirits. She called me after she got her refund and thanked me for the help and for being supportive and a good listener. Ours is not just a ministry of help, but a ministry of love. It is so much more than just doing their taxes. We get to know these folks on a personal level and they become our friends. They trust us, they appreciate the help, but they especially appreciate the personal attention we provide.”
This year serves as the beginning of our 10th tax season, and to-date our volunteers have filed 1,572 returns in the past nine years saving North Memphis residents $2,713,000 in tax credits and prep and filing fees!!
QUALIFICATIONS: Free tax help is provided to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance.
TO FILE: If you would like to file, simply stop by the Bickford Community Center (233 Henry Ave) any Saturday from 9:30am-1:00pm from January 31 through March 28. No appointment needed.
WHAT TO BRING:
Proof of identification
Documents showing real estate taxes paid last year
Social Security Cards (or individual Taxpayer ID Number, ITIN) for you, your spouse, and dependents
Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents
Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, from all employers
Interest and dividend statements from banks (Form 1099)
A copy of last year’s Federal and State returns if possible
Bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit
Total paid for day care provider and the day care provider’s tax ID number
Information for other income
Information for deductions/credits
TO VOLUNTEER: If this kind of practical, hands-on ministry sounds exciting to you, we’d love to add you to our team! This is an IRS sanctioned site so you will need to go through a simple on-line training and certification pre-work (not hard). We will train and prepare you for electronic filing. For more information on volunteering, contact Peggy at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.oasis-of-hope.com.
If you believe in what we are doing in inner city Memphis, this is a valuable way to support us. If you’d like more information about our programs, please check out our website, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.