An unexpected windfall is great for everyone, but for low-income families, it can be a chance at a better life. It can be a down payment on a car that opens opportunities for better employment, the start of savings to buy much-needed possessions, or money for education.
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) can be the means to achieve those goals. It is a tax credit that reduces the tax burden on low-income working people. EITC is the largest and most effective federal aid program for the working class and has been widely praised for its success in reducing poverty.
The Lancaster Money in Your Pocket Coalition is working with the United Way of Lancaster County Women's Council and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) to reach out to eligible persons to ensure that local families receive the full amount of the credit they have earned.
RSVP and United Way volunteers offer free assistance to low-income taxpayers through VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) sites. These volunteers play a crucial role in empowering low-income single or married taxpayers and families to achieve a more secure economic future.
Volunteers need a desire to help those in need; meet and deal with people from different backgrounds and circumstances; and usually give two to four hours a week. An accounting background is helpful, but not necessary. Free training will be provided January 28, 29, or 30 at the Lancaster Campus of Harrisburg Area Community College, 1641 Old Philadelphia Pike, Lancaster. You will also be trained and obtain certification through the Internal Revenue Service online training program - Link & Learn.
Volunteers then elect to work at VITA and United Way sites throughout the county, in accordance with your schedule. For more information call Michelle Strauser, RSVP, at 299-5566, ext. 176