Nyvonne Stevens knows what a tax credit can do. It’s powerful. In her case, a sizeable tax refund allowed her to save money for a down payment on a house.
Very few initiatives give taxpayers this much money in a short period of time. But there’s a catch.
You have to know the credit is available. And unfortunately, too many people don’t. Especially people experiencing poverty.
That’s why the Social Development Commission administers Milwaukee County’s largest volunteer income tax assistance program, VITA. Trained tax preparers help customers understand what’s available to them.
For more than two decades, the SDC VITA program has helped Milwaukee County residents create an emergency savings account, buy a car or save for retirement. And the VITA program is free to customers.
That was important to Nyvonne Stevens who paid as much as $500 to file taxes with for-profit tax preparation companies. But beyond eliminating fees for the tax preparation service, and some are predatory, VITA helped Nyvonne Stevens with her wealth-building goals.
Although she lives in low-income housing now, Stevens is positioned to acquire assets like a home. She hopes that one day she can pass it to the next generation which includes Stevens’ three-year-old daughter, Irish.
Last year Stevens got $3500 from federal earned income and child tax credits. As she looks for the best way to invest it, this money will continue to grow.