THE Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is a national program sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Each tax season, VITA volunteers across the country prepare federal and state tax returns for low-income families—those making $54,000 or less in 2018—in public libraries and community centers, and on college campuses. With the help of local governments, libraries, and community and faith-based organizations, VITA is implemented in the Northern Virginia area throughout Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, and Prince William Counties, making up a coalition called NVACASH, the Northern Virginia Coalition for Creating Assets, Savings and Hope.
David Silverman, communications partner in our Washington, D.C., office, has been volunteering for the last eight years with VITA, helping prepare and file income tax returns for low-income families. He and 294 dedicated and trained volunteers, staffing 14 VITA sites and six facilitated self-assistance sites, helped 5,459 low-income families save more than $1 million in professional filing fees and collect more than $8.3 million in refunds this past tax season. More than $432,000 was awarded back to those families who qualified for the Child Tax Credit, and the average Earned Income Tax Credit recipient received $1,866.
David was the featured volunteer in the NVACASH Campaign’s September 2018 volunteer newsletter, which praised his dedication and service. David told the newsletter: “I’ve been preparing my own taxes for many years and always enjoyed the process, if not the result. I have continued doing this every year since, primarily because I love meeting people and helping them get as much money as I lawfully can. I am what many would call a people person, and VITA is the perfect place to be just that. I am sure I will continue to volunteer at VITA, even after I retire from my day job.”