What is VITA?
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program is a national initiative to offer accurate, secure, and free tax help, to lower-income households.
What is Miami Tax Pros?
Miami Tax Pros is a coalition in Miami-Dade with organizations that provide free tax preparation services. Branches proudly leads the Miami-Dade VITA Coalition, a group of 30 strong partners that help hard-working families secure more of their hard-earned money by providing outreach, education, and access to services at no cost to them. Our services are offered to those who speak limited or no English, have limited access or transportation, are filing for the first time, have different abilities, are age 60 or older, or have an annual income is less than $57,000.
The updated United Way ALICE Report continues to shine a spotlight on a large population of residents in Miami who work, yet have little to no savings, and are one financial emergency away from falling into poverty. VITA opens the door to financial security during tax preparation. These services help hard-working families and individuals secure tax credits they depend on to pay down debts, start small businesses, invest in reliable transportation, put a down payment on a home, and in general save and invest in their future.
Since 2015 Branches has lead the Miami-DadeVITA Coalition, together we helped over 12,000 families in 2020, a 4% increase from the previous year.
It is estimated that about 80% of refunds are then spent locally, which generates local sales, wages, and jobs, ultimately boosting the local economy right here in Miami.
Benefits of Miami Tax Pros
- Free tax help! - The average cost of paid tax preparation is $273, for many families, these are dollars that could otherwise go toward monthly bills and emergency savings. By preparing taxes for free, we help our taxpayers get more of the money they earned back. The families we serve use their tax refunds to “build their aspirations for upward mobility.”
- Boosting the Miami-Dade County Economy- In the 2019 tax season, our Coalition prepared over 12,000+ tax returns, resulting in over $13 million back to the Miami-Dade community.
- Awareness of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) - The EITC is our nation’s most effective anti-poverty tool. It is a refundable tax credit available to low- and moderate-income households with members who work. In 2019, 27 million tax filers claimed the EITC, receiving an average benefit of $2,445. For tax year 2019, a married couple with two children and an income of $40,000 qualified for an EITC of $2,226, meaning their EITC benefit was the equivalent of 6 percent of their annual income. Refundable tax credits can help lower-income families build wealth.
- Avoid Errors and Stress- Our taxpayers get their taxes done correctly the first time. Our volunteers are trained and certified in tax law, and our quality review process helps ensure error-free tax returns.
How We Do It
Miami Tax Pros trains and certifies over 500 volunteer tax preparers to help individuals and families receive expert tax preparation for free, and receive their maximum benefit and refund. Our Coalition is comprised of over 30 partners across Miami-Dade County including non-profit organizations, churches, libraries, colleges and universities, media partners and local government, that help over 12,000 families a year.
Miami Tax Pros is possible because of our incredible volunteers, who serve as tax preparers, tax reviewers, greeters, translators and site coordinators, our partners ink to partner list and sponsors ink to sponsor list. Support our work and join our Coalition!