1.5 million Veterans are at risk for homelessness
$35,622 is the median income for Veteran (US Census 2009), qualifying many for free tax prep and refundable credits
Free tax preparation is an easy, cost-effective, untapped resource for most Veteran serving organizations. Some Veterans do not file their taxes because they believe they don’t have enough income to do so and are unaware of tax credits and other potential benefits to filing. While others may be paying way too much to have their taxes filed when they could be receiving this service for FREE. Providing this free resource onsite allows Veterans access to prepare their taxes while overcoming multiple challenges many Veterans face such as transportation, fear of certain social settings, identification of reliable, trusted resources and other barriers they may encounter outside of a Veteran serving organization. Onsite free tax prep education and services may provide Veterans access to refunds allowing them to save money for the removal of personal barriers to employment and stable housing.
Why Free Tax Preparation in a Veteran Serving Facility?
- Department of Veterans Affairs has committed to promoting free tax preparation option to Veterans and their families through a Memorandum of Understanding with the IRS, naming NDI as a partner in this endeavor.
- Increased access and awareness of resources will promote financial independence for Veterans/families
- Many Veteran centers serve as one-stop services and can easily integrate financial capability services on-site or with guidance refer to trusted partners.
- Veteran-centered environments are trusted places to discuss finances and taxes
- Awareness about filing even when income is low could result in refundable credits for Veterans and their families
- Learn more about specific tax credits:
- Learning about beneficial tax credits can potentially remove barriers to employment and stable housing
- A Veteran learning to to self-file or becoming a tax coach can build self-confidence and empowerment
- Easy, cost-effective way to expand services
- Gateway to larger financial education conversation
- Produce benefits such as reduced lengths of stay in transitional housing, increase long-term employment & quality of life
- Alert Veterans who may be target of fraudulent practices under alternative solutions
Increase access to free tax prep options and add FREE services to your existing location
- Partner with VITA to offer free tax prep on-site at VA facilities and Veteran Serving Organizations during tax season
- Partner with regional tax coalition to coordinate outreach to eligible Veterans and their families within Veteran serving programs, services, and events
- Invite VITA and local IRS representatives to attend major events including Stand downs to provide free tax preparation services. (Many Veterans may not have filed in years and could be eligible for past credits and refunds)
- Recruit VITA-certified Tax Coach to assist self-filers on MyFreeTaxes.com on-site at VA facilities adn Veteran Serving Organizations
- Post link to MyFreeTAxes.com or other free self tax preparation options on computer labs in resource centers for Veterans to file their taxes online
- Train a Veteran as an IRS VITA volunteer to assist other Veterans with preparing their taxes for free on site
“One client was able to file for the Earned Income Tax Credit and get back enough to pay $500 in fines and fees to get his suspended license reinstated; without it, he’s been unable to work. MyFreeTaxes helped to eliminate a detrimental barrier to employment.”
"A Navy veteran who didn’t qualify for the Montgomery or Post 9/11 GI Bill was applying for a Pell Grant to go back to school. MyFreeTaxes made it possible for her to file her taxes free and submit the required copy of her tax return with the grant application."
For more on Veteran initiatives contact Katie Metz firstname.lastname@example.org