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Wenstrup’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Legislation Included in Bipartisan Taxpayer First Act Passes House

Washington, April 9, 2019 Contact: Ann Tumolo (202-225-3164)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed The Taxpayer First Act, which includes H.R. 1875, Congressman Brad Wenstrup (OH-02) and Congressman Danny Davis’ (IL-07) Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Permanence Act. H.R. 1875 would make the VITA matching grant program permanent, ensuring VITA sites can continue to provide quality tax-filing services.

“VITA centers are an important resource for lower income families across Ohio. VITA centers help families and individuals file their taxes correctly, and protect them from scammers. The VITA matching grant program helps VITA centers pay for materials, equipment, and educational services.  Our bill would make this program permanent, so VITA centers can continue to provide this tax assistance and filing resources to Ohioans,” said Congressman Brad Wenstrup

“I am pleased to partner with Congressman Wenstrup and House Leaders to advance the VITA Permanence Act as part of bipartisan legislation to modernize the IRS and protect taxpayers. This crucial program provides high-quality tax help for free to hard-working families so they can keep more of their hard-earned money.  VITA is a smart federal investment that helps people and communities, doubling outreach through public-private partnerships,” said Congressman Danny Davis.

United Way of Greater Cincinnati-Clermont & Brown Counties offered the following statement of support:

“United Way of Greater Cincinnati relies on the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program to provide free tax prep services to families struggling with poverty. Authorizing VITA into statute permanently positions the program to keep up with the growing demand for free tax prep services.  Meeting this demand is a crucial component of helping families in our region who are on a path to self-sufficiency,” said Sarah Ghee Director, United Way Greater Cincinnati-Clermont & Brown Counties.

 

Background:

VITA centers offer free tax help to people who generally make $55,000 or less, persons with disabilities, and limited English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide this free basic income tax return preparation to qualified individuals.

There are 3,700 VITA sites nationwide, with 19 sites in OH-02. Those 19 sites prepared 5,554 returns last year.

To find a VITA site near you, please visit IRS’ website, here.

Watch Congressman Wenstrup’s floor speech on passage of the Taxpayer First Act, here.

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