The VITA Program was created by the Federal Government particularly to assist low income families in filing for Earned Income Credit. In many cases these families are in dire need of the financial relief that this tax credit allows. Most of these families would not be able to properly complete their tax returns without help from the VITA volunteers. Benedictine students and faculty have performed this community service in collaboration with the Notre Dame Club of DuPage County and North Central University for about ten years. Students learn how to prepare tax returns then provide those skills to low income residents of the community. In 2011 there were 150 registered visitors at our VITA site in the Nichols Library located in downtown Naperville. Visitors came from 22 different communities, but were largely local (53% from Naperville / Lisle and 30% coming from other DuPage County towns). Volunteers at the site completed tax returns for 135 clients totaling $150,609 in Federal and Illinois State tax refunds including $44,459 in Earned Income Credits. Since we began participating in the VITA program about 10 years ago over 150 Benedictine students have participated at our site. During that 10 year time period the volunteers at our site have completed returns for over 1,200 people resulting in over $1 million in tax refunds.
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