News & Events
Waubonsee Tax Prep Volunteers Net Refunds, Results, Recognition
Thanks to a team of volunteers associated with Waubonsee Community College, nearly 750 area low- to moderate-income families will bring more than $1.5 million in income tax refunds back to the local economy, and will do so without any money out of their own pockets.
For those efforts, the city of Aurora has recognized Waubonsee’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) team for its commitment to volunteer service in the college’s local communities, as part of Aurora’s celebration of National Volunteer Week, April 6-13.
Waubonsee’s VITA program was highlighted in a presentation to the Aurora City Council on April 8.
“Volunteerism is alive and well here in Aurora,” said Aurora Mayor Thomas J. Weisner. “People who volunteer their time, talents and resources in our community can change lives.”
From Jan. 29 to April 12, volunteers working at Waubonsee’s VITA site in Aurora processed 866 income tax returns on behalf of 746 clients. The returns, processed at no cost to the clients, netted more than $1.5 million in refunds, including $666,789 in Earned Income Tax Credit dollars owed to the tax filers.
The site, under the direction of George Sterling, Certified Public Accountant and Instructor at Waubonsee, and his wife, Therese, is the result of Waubonsee’s partnership with the Center for Economic Progress, which sponsors similar VITA sites around the country.
2014 marked the 10th year of Waubonsee’s participation in the VITA program. This year, the site operated on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. Returns were processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
The program was open to eligible families with annual incomes of $50,000 or less, and individuals with annual incomes less than $25,000.
Waubonsee students, local CPAs and others from Aurora and surrounding communities volunteered to staff the site and process returns.
“The program provides a service learning opportunity that engages students in the educational process,” said Ne’Keisha Stepney, Assistant Dean for Business and Career Technologies at Waubonsee. “Students solve real-life problems, build essential soft skills, and become active contributors to the community.
“Altogether, VITA strengthens the goodwill with the community, and the program has been making a difference in the Aurora area for hard working individuals and families for 10 years,” Stepney said.
For more information, contact Waubonsee Community College at (630) 466-7900, ext. 2992, email VITA@waubonsee.edu, or visit the Center for Economic Progress website at www.economicprogress.org.