Thank Your Elected Officials in Congress for Protecting Access to VITA

Congress passed the Taxpayer First Act and made the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program permanent!

Say “thank you” to your elected officials for protecting free, high-quality tax preparation for hardworking Americans.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program was created 50 years ago as a demonstration pilot. When the President signs the Taxpayer First Act, VITA will be codified, and millions of taxpayers can count on this critical program for many tax seasons to come. VITA sites in every state across the country prepared over 1.5 million tax returns for low- and moderate-income Americans in 2019 bringing back $1.8 billion to communities.

You can thank your elected officials in Congress for protecting access to VITA for millions of taxpayers and urge them to increase investments in the program by clicking here


Press Release: United Way of Forsyth County Will Attend Hill Day and Advocate for Increasing the EITC

WINSTON-SALEM, NC — United Way of Forsyth County Will Attend Hill Day and Advocate for Increasing the EITC

On June 13th, over 60 United Way advocates will storm Capitol Hill to advocate for key tax priorities including expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for workers not raising kids at home and young people ages 21 to 24. While the EITC is one of the most effective tools we have to help working families keep their heads above water, it currently excludes millions of workers.

The Tax Policy Forum and Hill Day is an opportunity for United Ways from across the country to travel to United Way Worldwide and dive deep into the network’s top tax policy priorities: the Charitable Deduction, Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

This event will feature speakers and subject matter experts about each of these leading policy issues, and participants will have the opportunity to put their knowledge into action through application workshops and the Hill Day. During the Hill Day event on June 13, participants will meet with their Members of Congress to advocate for the network policy priorities.

United Way of Forsyth County Chief Impact Officer, Debbie Wilson will be visiting the offices of Representative Virginia Fox, Senator Burr and Senator Tillis. Wilson notes, “ We are excited to advocate for increasing the EITC.  As the United Way of Forsyth County continues to fight poverty in our community, we know that the EITC is very important. More than 5 million American workers are taxed into poverty, largely because they are excluded from the pro-work, anti-poverty impacts of the EITC. We’re encouraging supporters to join in advocating for the EITC by visiting: “.

For more information about the United Way, visit

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United Way of Forsyth County brings the community and its resources together to solve problems that no one organization can address alone.

Surviving Cancer and Life’s Challenges- Betty’s Story

As a widow and living alone, Betty didn’t have any support in place when she was diagnosed with Stage II cancer in August of 2017 at the age of 60.
She underwent chemotherapy and radiation. Unfortunately, because of her diagnosis she had to stop work as a custodial worker and she was without income during her treatment , as well as becoming uninsured. Family support was very limited. Our United Way funded partner Cancer Services, Inc. was been able to assist her with the cost of her medications, nutrition, purchasing medical supplies and providing transportation to her treatments.
Due to her having no income, the United Way of Forsyth County was able to assist her in finding outside resources to help her with rent and utilities while she was applying for Social Security benefits, which meant she was able to remain in her home.
This transitional support allowed Betty to focus on her treatment and create a more manageable life while being out of work and not worrying about bankruptcy and greater debt.
For cancer patients, psychological stress adds to the burden imposed by the disease and the sometimes difficult aspects of treatment; United Way was able, with your support, to remove those barriers so Betty could focus on bating her cancer.

Press Release: RAIS Finance Pros Put in 80 Volunteer Hours Easing the Tax-Prep Burden for Forsyth County Residents

Tax season is taxing for most of us, but many lower-income and elderly people find it especially complex and costly. A helping hand can make a big difference.

Each year, as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, qualified volunteer tax preparers in Forsyth County, N.C., fan out across the community, preparing taxes for free for people making $54,000 a year or less. This year, group of six RAI Services (RAIS) employees — all finance professionals — joined the volunteer effort on behalf of the nonprofit Experiment in Self-Reliance after getting the necessary training and certification.

“It was truly a rewarding experience,” said Edna Bonilla, a senior manager in the finance department and one of the volunteers. “The clientele is very grateful for the patience, time and knowledge invested in assisting them with the preparation of their tax returns. I would gladly volunteer going forward and encourage others to participate in the VITA program.”

The other volunteers this year were Joshua Hulin, Liqing Carey, Bruce Nix, Jim Carros and Dianise Maldonado. All were recently honored for their work with community-service certificates from the Internal Revenue Service, and they received special thank-you letters from the Experiment in Self Reliance. “They did an exceptional job, collectively contributing 80 hours this past tax season, and the payback was huge,” said Jerry Romans, vice president of special projects and board chairman of the local agency.

The VITA program, which is also supported by the United Way of Forsyth County, focuses on the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This represents the largest anti-poverty program in the U.S., lifting 9 million people out of poverty by providing low-income working adults with a tax credit based on their income. On average, a qualified Forsyth County taxpayer receives $1,700 in EITC credit, and sometimes the credit can be more than the amount earned during the year. In addition to benefiting working families, the credit brings money directly into the community. Volunteer tax preparers are educated on tax credits and help people receive every tax credit for which they qualify. For the 2017 tax season, nearly 4,000 returns — generating about $4.9 million in refunds, of which $2.3 million were EITC — were done through VITA/EITC programs in Forsyth County.

“This free tax preparation service is very much in line with our philanthropic mission,” Romans said. “It has a major economic impact, but it is very volunteer intensive, and we would love for more of our employees to participate next year.”

Press Release: United Way of Forsyth County Supported Agencies Offering Free Tax Preparation to Low and Moderate Income Families

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – United Way of Forsyth County supported Forsyth Free Tax (FFT) is offering free tax preparation to low and moderate income families and seniors in Forsyth County from Feb. 1 to April 15.

FFT in collaboration with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, provides U.S. Internal Revenue Service-certified volunteers to prepare basic income tax returns free for individuals earning $54,000 a year or less. Individuals earning $64,000 or less, are able to file self-prepared returns online free at (

The volunteer tax preparers will also assist with the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) initiative, the largest anti-poverty program in the US, lifting 9 million people out of poverty. The EITC provides low-income working adults with a tax credit based on their income. On average, a qualified Forsyth County taxpayer receives $1,700 in EITC credit, and the credit can sometimes total more than the amount earned during the year. In addition to benefiting working families, the credit brings money directly into the Forsyth County community.

The free tax services will be provided from 13 locations throughout Forsyth County:

Experiment in Self-Reliance (3480 Dominion Street, 336-722-9400) – Open Feb. 1 – April 18, Mondays-Thursdays 10 am — 3 pm, Saturdays 9 am- 1 pm, closed April 15.

Goodwill Industries (2760 Peters Creek Parkway, 336-201-0800) – Feb. 7 – April 13, Tuesdays, Thursdays 4 pm-7: 30 pm.

Goodwill Industries (2701 University Parkway, 336-724-3625) – Feb. 1 — April 13, Wednesdays, Thursdays 4 pm-8 pm

King Public Library (101 Pilot View Drive, King, NC, 336-983-3868) – Feb. 9 – April 13, Thursdays 4-8 pm, appointments only

Malloy-Jordan Center (1110 East 7th Street, 336-703-2950) – Feb. 11 – April 15, Saturdays 10 am-2 pm, closed April 8.

Mi Casa Servicios Hispano-Latino (1705 Link Road, 336-722-7040) – Feb. 1- April 18, Monday-Friday 9 am – 5 pm, closed April 14.

Prosperity Center South (508 Waughtown Street, 336-788-4965) – Feb. 1- April 17, Mondays 9 am -12 pm, Wednesdays 4 pm-8 pm, Fridays 11 am-3 pm, Saturdays 9 am-1 pm, closed April 14-15.

Winston-Salem Transit Authority (100 W. 5th Street, 336-727-2000) – Feb. 6- April 18, Mondays and Tuesdays 4 pm – 8 pm, Fridays 1 pm-5 pm, closed April 11.

Walnut Cove Senior Center (308 Brooke Street, Walnut Cove, NC, 336-591-5442) – Feb. 6 – April 17, Mondays 1 pm-5 pm, appointments only.

Winston-Salem Federal Credit Union (711 E Salem Ave., 336-727-2663) – Feb. 1 – April 13, Monday-Thursday 9 am – 4 pm, appointments only.

Rural Hall Library (7125 Broad Street, Rural Hall, NC, 336-703-2970) – Feb. 8 – April 12, Wednesdays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., appointments only.

Participants are asked to bring a picture ID, Social Security card for themselves and each dependent they are claiming, all W-2s and 1099s, employer ID number or SS number of childcare providers, and last year’s tax returns if itemizing. Individuals desiring direct deposit of any refund are required to bring a check or savings account information.