UpValley Family Centers offers free bilingual tax services in Calistoga

UpValley Family Centers offers free bilingual tax services in Calistoga

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UpValley Family Centers' VITA volunteers

Many of the VITA volunteers, coordinated by the UpValley Family Centers, gathered in Calistoga in May 2018 for a celebration and for photos. They are, top row, from left, Lourdes Gonzalez, Marcela Franco, Irene Pena and her daughter, Alexandra, Ray Branstetter, Norma Godinez, Norma Ferriz and Marycruz Garcia. On the bottom step are Katya Orozco and Joleen Cantera. Each of the volunteers is holding a sign of the program's sponsors.

Now through April 15, the UpValley Family Centers is offering free tax preparation services through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

The UpValley Family Centers has been providing low-income individuals and families in Napa’s Upvalley region with free tax preparation assistance for 18 years – helping to generate more than $6 million in refunds to date.

Friday, Jan. 31 marked the 14th annual Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day. Low-income working families may qualify for more than $6,000 in refunds from the California and Federal EITC. The Internal Revenue Service estimates four of five eligible taxpayers claim and receive the EITC. The UpValley Family Centers VITA team members are IRS certified to provide free expert tax preparation services for households earning less than $56,000 per year and help maximize refunds – including Earned Income and Child Care Tax Credit claims.

“We would like to ensure every eligible taxpayer locally can access the credits due them,” said Jenny Ocón, executive director. “The EITC reduces poverty and economic hardship for working families. The UpValley Family Centers is here to help local low-income households claim every cent of the cash back EITC they earned.”

Last year, UpValley Family Centers VITA volunteers and staff provided 705 households with free tax preparation assistance, which resulted in $867,336 in refunds and $260,312 brought back in EITC benefits.

VITA services will be provided through April 15 at UpValley Family Centers offices in St. Helena and Calistoga, as well as the St. Helena Public Library and three local farmworker housing sites. Bilingual assistance is available as well as renewals of Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITINs) for residents without a Social Security number. Appointments are offered in the evenings and on weekends in both communities. Please call, 965-5010 for details.

For more information on UpValley Family Centers VITA tax preparation services, or to make an appointment at any of the six tax service locations, call 707-965-5010.

This program is made possible by the following generous funders: Citi Community Development, The Strong Communities Fund & The Napa Fund of the Napa Valley Community Foundation, United Way of the Bay Area, Napa Valley Vintners/Auction Napa Valley, Wells Fargo, Mechanics Bank, and individual donors.

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