Tax Time is a network of nonprofit, business, and government organizations that works to provide free tax assistance services and connect low- and moderate-income households to financial resources. In the nine years since its inception, Tax Time volunteers have prepared and processed nearly 70,000 returns, helping hardworking central Ohio households claim approximately $76 million in refunds.
Tax Time combines three free tax preparation programs under a single umbrella:
1) United Way of Central Ohio’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program,
2) AARP’s Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program, and
3) the Ohio Association of Foodbanks’ Ohio Benefit Bank.
These three partners operate more than 60 sites throughout Franklin County, where trained and certified volunteers prepare federal and state tax returns from January through April. Other lead partners include the Legal Aid Society of Columbus, HandsOn Central Ohio, and Apprisen.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT
For many in our community surviving on low and moderate incomes, tax time is a critically important financial moment. A number of tax credits help bridge the gap between what working families earn and what they need to survive. In fact, these credits can combine to form a refund that provides low-income households with their largest paycheck of the year, accounting for up to 45% percent of their annual income. Additionally, these families save up to $400 in tax preparation fees by visiting a free Tax Time site.
2015 was a record-breaking year for Tax Time's free tax preparation services. More than 600 volunteers helped 18,957 hardworking low- and middle-income households -- that's a 16% increase over 2014!
These households claimed more than $18.6 million in tax refunds and saved approximately $7.5 million in tax preparation fees and loans.