Goodwill tax assistance program seeks volunteers  

MUSKEGON – Goodwill Industries of West Michigan’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is currently seeking volunteer tax preparers for the upcoming tax season. The program helps people claim and keep all the refunds they are entitled to, including significant state and federal tax credits they might not be aware of.

From February 2018 to April of this year, trained Goodwill VITA volunteers prepared 2,619 free income tax returns for eligible low- to moderate-income individuals and families last tax season resulting in $3.9 million returned to the West Michigan community.

“We sincerely thank our dedicated volunteers, our funding partners, and community collaborators that make the program possible,” Goodwill Tax Program Coordinator Jasam Brett Layne-Roy

Last year, the program received a boost in volunteers thanks to a generous $10,000 grant from the Community Foundation for Muskegon County that paid stipends to college students who participated in the program.  “Our partnership with the Muskegon Community Foundation provided a wonderful opportunity that encouraged students to connect with their communities while learning valuable skills that will last them a lifetime,” said Layne-Roy. “We hope this will allow us to connect with more local organizations and expand our volunteer base with young people excited to learn.”

The program served residents of Newaygo, Oceana, Ottawa, and Muskegon counties with volunteers preparing returns at seven convenient tax sites, and one “drop and go” site.

Goodwill VITA partners included: Baker College of Muskegon, Muskegon Community College, United Way of the Lakeshore, Sacred Suds/Community enCompass, TrueNorth Community Services, Hart City Hall, Tanglewood Park, and My Free Taxes. Funding partners included: Goodwill Industries of West Michigan, Community Foundation for Muskegon County, Community Foundation for Oceana County, Community Economic Development Association of Michigan, the Internal Revenue Service, and United Way of the Lakeshore.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!  If you would like to learn more about how YOU can you make a positive  impact in your community, please contact Goodwill Tax Program Coordinator Jasam Brett Layne-Roy at (231) 722-7871 x1073 or jlayne@goodwillwm.org.

For more information, please visit the Goodwill VITA website at www.vitawestmichigan.org and on social media: Facebook @GIWMVita and Twitter: @VITAWestMI

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