The Good Hands Foundation is an organization registered as a non-profit organization in the state of California, USA, and is a “Pro bono” (for the public good) volunteer who specializes in US tax/tax law.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistant (VITA-Free Tax Filing Preparation) conducted by IRS volunteers and provides free tax returns for low-income families in cooperation with related organizations.
During the non-tax filing season, various tax/tax law seminars or tax consultations (LITC: Low Income Taxpayers Clinic) are held, and the community actively participates in solving community problems by participating in other services requested by the community and promoting the public interest.
Establishing a VITA Program
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Establishing a VITA site begins with partnerships. One partner or several partners work together to form
a coalition to deliver the messages and programs that they as a group decide upon. Most coalitions use
commitment letters to determine who will take responsibility for different aspects of the program.
Committees formed usually consist of a volunteer recruitment committee, training committee, and
outreach/marketing committee. A funding committee could also be included.
The VITA site opening is established based on the first day of e-filing, generally the second Friday of
January. They stay open until the April tax return deadline. However, the successful launch and
operation of a VIA site requires planning over a much longer period of time. Participating agencies
intending to serve as VITA sites should dedicate some staff time for planning and service delivery year
round, with the majority of staff time allocated during September through May.
Running a VITA site includes several phases of activity such as establishing a volunteer recruitment plan, EITC/VITA site promotion, and training of the volunteers.
Volunteer recruitment should begin in September and October. If possible, it is helpful to have an existing pool of volunteers from the host agency. Community volunteers already have an established trusting relationship with prospective clients and organizations. Volunteers should be notified that the tax law and software training is usually provided in December and January.
Promotion of the earned income tax credit (EITC) and VITA site outreach is an essential part of the
campaign, especially to those who qualify, but do not file taxes because their income is too low. They
may still qualify for this valuable credit, but do not know they are available. Outreach is also essential for the many tax law credits that Congress passes each year.
Training of the volunteers in most cases is coordinated between the partners and the SPEC
representative. Classrooms need to be located, procedures set in place, computers found and decisions
on curriculums made.
GOOD HANDS FOUNDATION
P.O. Box 52362, Irvine, CA 92619-2362
TEL. (714) 400-2089 (949) 519-8996