Bank of America & United Way partnership provides free tax prep to low-income families
2013 partnership yielded $6.4 million for 4,200 individuals and families
United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley, in partnership with Bank of America, is once again providing low-income residents and families with opportunities for free tax prep assistance and help maximizing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) through free services at 10 local sites. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has invested $125,000 in United Way to promote outreach to individuals and families eligible to receive the EITC and recruit tax prep volunteers. Last year, this effort resulted in more than $6.4 million dollars in tax refunds for over 4,200 families — money that has supported local communities while helping our neediest families, which often goes unclaimed.
“The volunteer tax assistance (VITA) program provides tax prep services to those who might not otherwise be able to afford it, putting money in their pockets and providing a boost to the local economy,” said Bob Gallery, Massachusetts president, Bank of America. “In addition to our financial support of the United Way, I know our volunteers relish the chance to share their financial know-how with their neighbors.”
In an effort to reach even more families this year, United Way has also expanded its partnership with the Massachusetts Association of Community Action Programs (MASSCAP), granting $15,000 to fund 4 of their VITA sites in Lowell, Haverhill, Chelsea and Malden. In addition to the VITA sites, United Way continues to provide funding and volunteers for tax prep at partner agencies in Boston, Chelsea, Lawrence, Quincy, and Waltham.
“The tax refund returned to hard-working families through the earned income tax credit is money that families can use to meet critical budget needs, climb out of debt or save for the future,” said Michael K. Durkin, President of United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. “Last year, our partnership with Bank of America helped generate more than $6 million in refunds, including $2.3 million through EITC, for our region’s neediest families. Working with MASSCAP and our community partners, this year we hope to reach even more.”
Training has already been underway for over 60 volunteers who will 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. Last year, Bank of America employees volunteered nearly 600 hours of service to complement their financial support. In 2014, Bank of America employees are once again volunteering their services to the free tax preparation and filings.
Working people with earnings under $49,078 should see if they qualify for EITC at www.irs.gov/eitc. To find out more about the free tax filing service please visit www.mass211.org.
Free tax prep locations include:
1542 Columbus Avenue, Boston
GREATER LAWRENCE COMMUNITY ACTION
350 Essex Street, Lawrence
168 Newbury Street, Lawrence
CHARLES RIVER PUBLIC INTERNET CENTER
154 Moody Street, Waltham
THE NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPERS
4 Gerrish Avenue, Chelsea
QUINCY COMMUNITY ACTION PROGRAMS, INC.
1511 Hancock St., Quincy
MASSCAP VITA SITES
COMMUNITY ACTION, INC
145 Essex St.Haverhill
TRI-CITY COMMUNITY ACTION PROGRAM
493 Main Street, Malden
COMMUNITY ACTION PROGRAMS INTER-CITY
100 Everett Avenue, Unit 14, Chelsea
COMMUNITY TEAMWORK INC
17 Kirk Street, Lowell
About United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley
One of the region’s largest nonprofits, United Way’s work ensures that children enter school ready to learn, youth stay engaged in school so they graduate with options for the future, and parents attain financial stability. No other single organization has the scope, expertise, and influence to bring together hundreds of human services agencies, government, businesses, private foundations and dedicated volunteers around a common vision of creating maximum impact and achieving long-lasting results.