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Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program Sees Increase In Refunds Despite Several Roadblocks
05.30.14 |
The seventh year of Lebanon Valley College’s VITA program presented a unique set of challenges for the free tax preparation service

No one could have predicted there would be snow in late March, just before the close of the tax season. The inclement weather this season presented obstacles for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, leading to the loss of several appointment days. In addition, the College’s need to initiate the renovations to LVC’s Mund College Center reduced the available workspace for the student volunteers. Because of privacy concerns with each client, this limited appointment capacity during the last stages of the tax season. Fortunately, the other VITA programs in Lebanon County, all part of the Money in Your Pocket Coalition, were able to pick up most of the slack.

Despite these obstacles, the dedicated efforts of 11 student volunteers allowed the program to remain successful.

VITA is a free tax preparation service for underprivileged families with three locations across Lebanon County. Its lifeblood is the hard work of volunteers across the county, including dozens of LVC students who have volunteered their time each winter. This year, the LVC location generated $339,089 in returns, compared to last year’s $317,903. The one percent increase is remarkable given that there were three fewer volunteers than the previous year and 42 less tax returns filed, in addition to the challenges presented by poor weather and building construction.

VITA’s LVC site is just one of the many successes for the program this year. The coalition as a whole generated $1,211,326 in tax refunds for Lebanon County residents through the additional VITA sites at the Democratic Party Headquarters, Hispanic Center, and VA Medical Center.

Preparations for next year’s program are already underway as current LVC volunteer, Lacey Lausch ’16, is recruiting new members. Any person interested in volunteering should email advisor David Rudd at rudd@lvc.edu over the summer.



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