Worcester, Massachusetts - In conjunction with the nationwide Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day, the Worcester Free Tax Service Coalition today kicked off its 13th year of providing free tax preparation services for local, low-income households at a program held at Assumption College. The program utilizes IRS-trained volunteers to prepare tax returns for households earning less than $54,000.
"The Earned Income Tax Credit is one of the most successful and important anti-poverty programs in American History. The Worcester Free Tax Service Coalition provides a great service to help our low income workers and families take advantage of this opportunity, strengthening Worcester neighborhoods and giving our residents the possibility to live above the poverty line. We look forward to another year of collaboration to further improve the lives of our residents through these programs," said City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr.
For tax year 2015, WFTSC served nearly 2,000 households generating more than $3.4 million dollars in returns, with an average federal refund of $1,849.
I believe the Worcester Free Tax Service is perfectly representative of the best of Worcester: agencies and businesses and individuals all working together for the greater good of community. We at the United Way of Central Massachusetts are proud to be a partner in this coalition that achieves so much good," said United Way of Central Massachusetts President and CEO Tim Garvin.
WCAC's Job & Education Center Director Carrick O'Brien agreed, adding, "WCAC is pleased to continue the tradition of offering VITA. This is a critical program that helps individuals and families achieve economic self-sufficiency. Tax return dollars are often used to improve housing situations, make car repairs so people can get to work, repair credit and start saving money. Without the excellent work of our Site Coordinator - Mr. B. - and our dedicated volunteers, this program would not be where it is today."
Ailin Ramos, Worcester resident and WFTSC client, said, "It is a wonderful service. I am grateful that it is free and feel that they genuinely want to make sure that you get all that you can."
For 2017, four VITA sites will again be available: Worcester Community Action Council, Inc. located on the second floor of the Denholm Building, 484 Main Street, Worcester; Main South Community Development Corporation located at 875 Main Street, Worcester; Community Builders/Plumley Village located at 16 Laurel Street, Worcester; and at Worcester State University, 486 Chandler Street, Worcester. Additional details about specific appointment times can be found at
Partners in the Worcester Free Tax Service Coalition include:
Assumption College, City of Worcester's Office of Economic and Neighborhood Development, Community Builders/Plumley Village, Main South CDC, Internal Revenue Service, Quinsigamond Community College, United Way of Central Massachusetts, UNUM, WCCA TV-13, Worcester Community Action Council, and Worcester State University.
Sponsors for this season's initiative include: IRS, City of Worcester, Santander, UniBank, Spencer Savings Bank, Southbridge Savings Bank, DCU, St. Mary's Credit Union.