Jan 13, 2020

Show Me The Money Day event offers free financial education

MUSKEGON – Goodwill Industries of West Michigan is hosting Show Me The Money Day financial literacy event on Saturday, January 25 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Church at 412 E. Sherman Blvd. in Muskegon Heights.

The event offers free financial workshops and helps Muskegon area residents connect to information on free tax income assistance, banking, financial counseling, and other resources. Free food and drinks will be available along with the chance to win prizes.

Held inside the Bishop Wm. L. Burrel Multipurpose Center, the event will feature booths representing local banks and credit unions and other community nonprofits.

For individuals with children, childcare will be provided during the event. To appropriately staff for the event, a pre-registration for childcare...

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Oct 10, 2019

Goodwill tax assistance program seeks volunteers  

MUSKEGON – Goodwill Industries of West Michigan’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is currently seeking volunteer tax preparers for the upcoming tax season. The program helps people claim and keep all the refunds they are entitled to, including significant state and federal tax credits they might not be aware of.

From February 2018 to April of this year, trained Goodwill VITA volunteers prepared 2,619 free income tax returns for eligible low- to moderate-income individuals and families last tax season resulting in $3.9 million returned to the West Michigan community.

“We sincerely thank our dedicated volunteers, our funding partners, and community collaborators that make the program possible,” Goodwill Tax Program Coordinator Jasam Brett Layne-Roy

Last year, the program received a boost in volunteers thanks...

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Aug 16, 2018

Goodwill MoneyWorks programming receives grant funding

MUSKEGON – Goodwill Industries of West Michigan recently received a combined $32,000 in support of its MoneyWorks programming which includes free tax preparation services (also known as Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or VITA) and other financial services such as budgeting, debt management, banking, and more.

In July, United Way of the Lakeshore granted $15,000 to Goodwill for MoneyWorks services in Muskegon County. United Way also awarded another $6,000 for VITA services in Newaygo County, and another $1,000 earmarked for Oceana County.

Additionally, Goodwill received $10,000 from the Fremont Area Community Foundation for VITA services in Newaygo County.

“We are so grateful to United Way and the Fremont Area Community Foundation for their continued support of Goodwill’s MoneyWorks / VITA program,” said Resource Development Coordinator Kim Harsch....

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Jun 22, 2018

Free tax service program returns more than $3 million to community

MUSKEGON – Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Services for West Michigan – a coalition of area nonprofit organizations led by Goodwill Industries – provided free income tax returns for eligible low- to moderate-income individuals and families this past tax season. Trained and IRS-certified volunteers processed 2,791 returns resulting in $3.4 million to the West Michigan community.

This year the program received a boost in volunteers thanks to a generous $10,000 grant from the Community Foundation for Muskegon County that paid stipends to college students who participated in the program. 

“We are grateful for our partnership with Muskegon Community College in helping us provide students with real-life community work experience,” said Goodwill Tax Program Coordinator Carl Lewis. “We hope to connect with more local colleges in recruiting more...

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Jan 17, 2018

Free tax preparation services available in West Michigan

NEW “drop and go” option added to free tax preparation services

MUSKEGON -- Goodwill Industries of West Michigan’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Services for West Michigan (VITA) is gearing up for its new tax season beginning February 1. Since 2006, Goodwill has provided free tax preparation services to low to moderate-income families and individuals, helping them maximize their returns by identifying significant tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

To qualify, individuals must have a household income below $60,000. Schedulers at 2-1-1 will be taking appointments beginning January 22. Appointments for tax services are required and can be scheduled by dialing 2-1-1 or toll free 1-877-211-5253. Appointment coordinators at 2-1-1 will verify eligibility and inform filers about the necessary documents that are required for their tax preparation...

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Nov 14, 2017

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program seeks volunteers

New grant offers $500 stipend to college students

MUSKEGON – Goodwill is urgently seeking more volunteers to help with its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Services for West Michigan program. The program processed 2,748 free income tax returns to eligible low- to moderate-income individuals and families last year resulting in over $3.5 million returned to the West Michigan community. 

“The number of volunteers we recruit is critical to the success of the program. The more volunteers, the more of an impact we can have,” said Goodwill Tax Program Coordinator Carl Lewis. “It can be an incredibly rewarding experience when you are personally helping people receive significant refunds that often help struggling families pay overdue bills and put food on the...

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Jun 22, 2017

Free tax service program increases returns despite challenges

Volunteers return more than $3.5 million to community

MUSKEGON – Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Services for West Michigan – a coalition of area nonprofit organizations led by Goodwill Industries – once again provided free income tax returns for eligible low- to moderate-income individuals and families this past tax season. Despite its dwindling volunteer base, and a change in the software program provided by the IRS, VITA Services processed 2,737 returns resulting in more than $3.5 million to the West Michigan community.

“Having to train on a new software system this year did result in some volunteer loss,” said Goodwill Tax Program Coordinator Carl Lewis. “Due to the efforts of some very dedicated staff and volunteers, we were able to slightly increase last year’s numbers....

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Jan 6, 2017

Free tax preparation services help you keep more of your hard-earned cash

MUSKEGON -- Goodwill Industries of West Michigan is the leading organization in a coalition of local human service organizations called Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Services for West Michigan (VITA) which is partnered with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to ensure eligible taxpayers claim and keep all of the tax credits they are eligible for.

The group provides free tax preparation services for low to moderate-income families and individuals helping them maximize their returns by identifying significant tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

“Unfortunately, about one out of five people who are eligible for EITC do not claim it,” said Goodwill Tax Program Coordinator Carl Lewis. “With an average credit of $2,400, these refunds can make a huge difference for struggling families – helping them to stay in their homes, pay overdue bills, and put food on the...

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Oct 19, 2016

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program seeks volunteers

MUSKEGON – Are you good with numbers, enjoy working with others, and want to make a real difference in your community? Goodwill needs you!

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Services for West Michigan – a coalition of area nonprofit organizations – provided a record number of free income tax returns to eligible low- to moderate-income individuals and families this past tax season. In total, 2,911 federal and state tax returns were prepared, creating a community impact of over $3 million!

Goodwill is urgently seeking more volunteers to help with the program.

 “The number of volunteers directly correlates to how many people we can help. The more volunteers, the more of an impact we can have,” said Goodwill Tax program Coordinator Carl Lewis. “It can be an incredibly rewarding experience when you are personally helping people...

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Jul 15, 2016

Free tax service program returns over $3 million to community

MUSKEGON -- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Services for West Michigan – a coalition of area nonprofit organizations – provided free income tax returns to eligible low- to moderate-income individuals and families this past tax season, resulting in $3,003,767 returned to the community. Volunteers filed a total of 2,911 returns; an increase of 6% over last year’s tax season.

“For some struggling families, these returns can make a huge difference; helping pay overdue utility bills or even putting food on the table,” said Goodwill Tax Program Coordinator Carl Lewis.

Participating volunteers were required to complete an IRS tax law training program and pass a certification test. This year the coalition reached out to Newaygo, Oceana, Ottawa and Muskegon counties, and offered returns at seven different community sites.

“We sincerely thank all...

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