WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced it has awarded more than $11 million in matching grants to support its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.
Under the VITA Grant Program, the IRS awarded matching grants to 177 organizations that will offer free tax preparation services during the 2011 filing season at locations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
“These funds will enhance the VITA program and the work of volunteer tax preparers who provide an invaluable service to millions of taxpayers each year,” said Richard Byrd, Jr., IRS Wage and Investment Operating Division Commissioner.
The funds will be used to:
- Enable VITA programs to extend services to underserved populations and hardest to reach areas, both urban and non-urban
- Increase the capacity to file returns electronically
- Heighten quality control and improve the accuracy of returns prepared by the VITA sites
- Enhance training of volunteers
There was a strong response to the 2011 VITA grant program with 374 organizations submitting applications requesting more than $33 million in matching funds.
VITA partners are organizations that provide free federal tax return preparation and electronic filing to low and moderate income individuals. For tax year 2010, individuals and families with an adjusted gross income of $49,000 or lower are eligible for assistance.
The VITA program has enjoyed tremendous support since it was created in 1969. For example, more than 3 million tax returns were prepared at over 12,000 locations during the 2010 filing season by volunteers working under either the VITA program or the Tax Counseling for the Elderly, another volunteer program sponsored by IRS.
Questions can be sent to Grant.Program.Office@irs.gov.
Related Item: 2011 Grant Recipients.