The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program recruits volunteers to work with CADCOM, an agency in Norristown, PA with a mission "to mobilize the human and financial resources of Montgomery County by initiating, developing and administering community and economic development programs designed to provide the tools needed to achieve self-sufficiency."
Bryn Mawr College has been partnering with CADCOM since 2004 to help provide free tax-services to Norristown residents through the IRS-sponsored EITC-VITA program.
Bryn Mawr College volunteers are trained during the fall semester and complete an IRS tax certification program over winter break. Volunteering begins in late-January and continues through mid-April.
In 2014-2015, 25 students volunteered with VITA performing 2,583 hours of service as tax preparers. Volunteers prepared 1,150 tax returns for Montgomery County residents, yielding total refunds in excess of $1,780,000. When adjusted for the savings on tax preparation services — since VITA tax preparation is a free service—and the federal community economic multiplier (1.59), our VITA site had a positive economic impact of $2,870,000 on the lower income residents of the greater Norristown region.