How a $125K grant became a $10.2 million return on investment to local communities
Bank of America and United Way announce free tax prep partnership generated $10.2 million in refunds and EITC credits for local residents this year
United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley, in partnership with Bank of America, announced the results of its 2014 free tax prep assistance program, which returned a total of $10.2 million to 4,515 residents who are most in need – a significant increase over the $8.9 million returned last year. The annual program provides low-income residents and families with opportunities for free tax prep assistance and help maximizing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and other credits and refunds. With a $125,000 investment from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to United Way to coordinate the program, millions of dollars that may otherwise have gone unclaimed were returned to people’s pockets and their local communities.
In an effort to reach even more families this year, United Way expanded its partnership with the Massachusetts Association of Community Action Programs (MASSCAP), granting $15,000 to fund four of their VITA sites in Lowell, Haverhill, Chelsea and Malden. In addition to the VITA sites, United Way provided funding and volunteers for tax prep at partner agencies in Boston, Chelsea, Lawrence, Quincy, and Waltham.
“You don’t have to be a banker to know that turning $125,000 into more than $10 million for those that need it most is an incredible investment,” said Bob Gallery, Massachusetts president, Bank of America. “It’s also a testament to how effectively United Way puts these dollars to work.”
“The impact of this program to local families is huge – putting dollars back in the pockets of hard-working individuals and families that they can use to meet critical budget needs, pay bills, climb out of debt or save for the future,” said Michael K. Durkin, president of United Way of Massachusetts Bay and MerrimackValley. “This is an important source of income and the fact that we have increased the returns year over year through working with Bank of America and our community partners shows how many people need and can benefit from this type of assistance.”
United Way trained more than 50 volunteers to assist with tax prep across these agencies from February through mid-April, in addition to volunteers recruited by the individual agencies and Bank of America. Bank of America employees this year volunteered nearly 600 hours of service to complement their financial support.
2014 free tax prep community locations and results are:
Urban Edge: 530 returns filed for $1,295,505 in refunds
Greater Lawrence Community Action Council: 301 returns filed for $641,989 in refunds
Lawrence Community Works: 599 returns filed for $1,631,737 in refunds
Charles River Public Internet Center: 356 returns filed for $624,952 in refunds
The Neighborhood Developers: 992 returns filed for $2,128,757 in refunds
Quincy Community Action Programs Inc. : 643 returns filed for $1,377,080 in refunds
MASSCAP VITA SITES
Community Action, Inc.: 290 returns filed for $673,211 in refunds
Tri-City Community Action Program: 213 returns filed for $411,478 in refunds
Community Action Programs Inter-City: 211 returns filed for $490,874 in refunds
Community Teamwork Inc.: 380 returns filed for $1,006,855 in refunds