From St. Helena Star: UVFC provides free bilingual tax services

February 7, 2017, St. Helena Star

UpValley Family Centers (UVFC) is providing free tax preparation services at its offices in St. Helena and Calistoga, evenings and weekends from now to April 18, through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

New this year, thanks to support from Citibank, the UVFC also will offer VITA services onsite at Napa’s three farmworker camps, working closely with California Human Development Corporation.

Services are available to those seeking to file their federal and state tax returns, who have low-to-moderate incomes (under $54,000 per year). UVFC also assists with Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITINs) for residents without a Social Security number. UVFC is a member of the Earn it! Keep it! Save it! Coalition led by United Way of the Bay Area. The goal is to help low-income residents increase financial literacy through the process of filing taxes.

The VITA tax preparers include volunteers and staff, and are required to go through an extensive training course, take a rigorous proficiency exam, and be certified by the IRS. UVFC’s dedicated VITA volunteers include local residents and students in the Business and Economic Department at Pacific Union College. Donations from individuals, foundations and corporations make it possible to provide this important service to the community. The funders include: United Way of the Bay Area, Citibank, Napa Valley Community Foundation, Napa Valley Vintners/Auction Napa Valley, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, and Wells Fargo Foundation.

In the 2015 tax year, the volunteers and staff helped 519 households receive free tax preparation assistance, which generated more than $695,473 in refunds, averaging $1,340 per family. For more information on UVFC’s VITA tax preparation services, or to make an appointment, call 965-5010.

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