The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program works to ensure that ALICE households and low-income families get the tax credits they deserve by providing free tax services to those who are eligible. This work is only possible with the dedication of VITA volunteers, especially repeat volunteers like Neil.
Neil comes to VITA having had two full-time careers. He spent 25 years in the U.S. Army and another combined 19 years as a Chief Information Officer and then a Chief Technology Officer in the private sector. Neil also sat on several volunteer Boards of Directors, including the Community Foundation of Frederick County, where he reviewed grant applications.
When Neil retired and found some spare time, he wanted to continue to give back to his community. He heard about VITA and decided to volunteer. According to Neil, being a VITA volunteer has been a great opportunity to directly serve clients, contrasting his previous Board positions where his volunteerism was a step removed from direct client interaction.
“It’s intellectually more satisfying to be on a big board and be making these big decisions for the healthcare system or big dollar decisions for the Community Foundation, but it’s a different kind of satisfaction to be actually working with the person who needs the help.”
Neil has volunteered with VITA since 2017, apart from last year when he homeschooled his grandchildren. As a longtime volunteer, he has seen how VITA benefits clients and makes a positive impact in our community.
Neil says, “The tax code is designed to provide low-income households with credits and benefits, but without the help of a program like VITA, people may not know that they are eligible or may not be able to afford to have their taxes filed by someone who can ensure they get the credits that they deserve.” He adds that, “It’s very satisfying to make sure that they get everything that the law intended for them to get.”
VITA is a vital service for many people in our community, and it’s truly made possible by the long-term commitment of volunteers like Neil.