News From the Mayor – 9/16/21

From Staff Reports

September 16, 2021

Dear Citizens:

I recently became aware of a situation I wanted to share with you. In 2005, the IRS approached then Mayor Buster Brown about establishing a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site in Navarro County. The reason behind this request was the IRS’ review of tax returns in Navarro County showed a low number of Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC).

In their opinion, the amount being claimed in such a poor county was too low. In other counties where they had encountered similar situations the establishment of a VITA site had been recommended. In the counties who implemented a VITA site, the amount of claimed EITC did, in fact, rise.

For the last 12 years, Corsicana had a VITA site which helped the low income and the elderly to file tax returns. This has been offered at the YMCA building on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and at the Kerens Library on Wednesday afternoons. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of returns filed by VITA site each year grew. Before COVID, the VITA site had 13 volunteers and in 2021 numbers were down to seven. VITA has advised me that at least four or five more volunteers are needed to continue serving the number of people requesting tax assistance.

The VITA team asked if I could help them get the word out more volunteers are needed. So that is what I am doing. The most important skill is the ability to use a personal computer. The IRS has provided software which will do most of the calculations once the data is entered in the system. They also help with training, as all volunteers must pass the Basic Preparers Test administered by the IRS. Certainly, those who have experience preparing returns would be greatly welcomed as volunteers. The local VITA team has senior preparers who review all returns prepared at the site before they are transmitted to the IRS.

If you are interested in volunteering you can call Judy Kilgore at 281-682-0928. She can explain what it takes to be a volunteer, how many hours volunteers usually work, what days you might be available, and other such specific personal information.

If you can help keep this volunteer site going please call Judy and get signed up now. Remember the 2021 tax season is only a few months away. Thanks so much for letting me encourage those who can to volunteer.

Sincerely,

Don Denbow, Mayor
City of Corsicana

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