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IRS Seeking Applications for Volunteer Tax Assistance Program Grants

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service will soon begin accepting applications for the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) grant programs, which will allow some organizations to apply for annual funding for up to three years.

Applications will be accepted June 1, 2010, through July 9, 2010. Previous grant recipients will have the option to apply for up to three years of annual funding, which would reduce the amount of paperwork they must complete over a three-year period. This annual funding will also help recipients with budget planning.

The 2011 application packages and guidelines will be available on the IRS website by June 1, 2010. More information about the TCE and VITA grants is available in Publication 4680, TCE & VITA Grant Programs.

The IRS in 2010 awarded 24 TCE grantees $6.1 million and 147 VITA grantees $7.44 million. Through mid May, the two grant programs filed more than 2.1 million returns at almost 9,000 sites nationwide.

The TCE program was established in 1978 to provide tax counseling and return preparation to persons age 60 or older and to give training and technical assistance to the volunteers who provide free federal income tax assistance within elderly communities across the nation.

The VITA Grant program was established in 2007 to supplement the VITA program, which was created in 1969. VITA provides underserved communities with free tax filing assistance. The grant program enables VITA to extend services to underserved populations in hardest-to-reach urban and non-urban areas, to increase the capacity of targeted taxpayers to file returns electronically, to enhance training of volunteers and to improve the accuracy rate of returns prepared at VITA sites.

[TaxMama note: The VITA grants require you to match the funding IRS provides. If you can’t afford to match the grant – up to $100,000, you may raise the funds. Someone just told me that the value of your time is taken into account towards the matching of funds. I am not certain about that. ]

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