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In 2020, the Worcester Free Tax Service Coalition celebrated its 18th year of providing free tax preparation and asset building services to low income working taxpayers throughout Central Massachusetts! Through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, IRS-certified volunteers prepare taxes and specifically look for tax credits the household may be eligible for, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC), Circuit Breaker Tax Credit,  and others. Utilizing the free tax preparation services allows families to retain their full refund, avoiding typical preparation fees which can often cost hundreds of dollars.

Worcester Community Action Council (WCAC) is among the Coalition’s city wide members, comprised of a collaboration of businesses, financial institutions and non-profit organizations who work to promote free income tax credit benefits to low and moderate income working individuals and families as a strategy to build household assets and increase economic self-sufficiency.

COVID-19 caused VITA sites nation-wide to temporarily halt services mid-season, and WCAC was proud to participate in a nation-wide pilot program called Get Your Refund designed by Code for America that enabled tax preparation to continue 100% virtually and encouraged taxpayers to send all of their documentation to certified volunteers on a smartphone or computer via a secure platform.  WCAC plans to continue to be able to offer this service in 2021.

In 2020, 26 volunteers donated 466 hours to prepare income tax returns at no cost for 559 low-income households at WCAC’s two sites.  This was all possible because of our dedicated volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering as a VITA tax preparer during the 2021 tax season, please email  


EITC Eligibility Requirements for 2019 Tax Limits:

Qualifying Children Claimed

If filingZeroOneTwoThree
Single, Head of Household, or Widowed$15,570$41,094$46,703$50,162
Married Filing Jointly$21,370$46,884$52,493$55,952

Investment Income Limit
Investment income must be $3,600 or less for the year.

Maximum Credit Amounts
The maximum amount of credit for Tax Year 2019 is:

  • $6,557 with three or more qualifying children
  • $5,828 with two qualifying children
  • $3,526 with one qualifying child
  • $529 with no qualifying children

What to bring to the VITA Site:

  • Proof of identification (photo ID)
  • Social Security cards for you, your spouse and dependents or a Social Security number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration
    • An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter may be substituted for you, your spouse and your dependents if you do not have a Social Security number
    • Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN
  • Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return
  • Wage and earning statements (Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R,1099-Misc) from all employers
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
  • A copy of last year’s federal and state returns, if available
  • Proof of bank account routing and account numbers for direct deposit such as a blank check
  • To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms
  • Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider’s tax identifying number such as their Social Security number or business Employer Identification Number
  • Forms 1095-A, B or C, Affordable Health Care Statements
  • Copies of income transcripts from IRS and state, if applicable
STATEMENT FROM WCAC

In the wake of the murder of Mr. George Floyd, we are still searching for words adequate to express our disgust and horror over the actions of those responsible for his death; our deep sadness for Mr. Floyd’s family, friends and community; and our anger over the repeated dehumanizing and fatal oppressive actions that threaten our nation. On behalf of the Worcester Community Action Council, we unequivocally condemn the police brutality that led to Mr. Floyd’s death. We join the call for justice, unity, peace and reform.

Worcester Community Action Council is directly and indirectly affected by the tragic events in our country that have reopened wounds that were never healed.  Our board of directors, staff and clients feel the impact of these events in deeply personal ways, and struggle with the feelings of fear, mistrust, separation, and anger.  We stand together in solidarity with the thousands of peaceful demonstrators across the country who are demanding justice for Mr. Floyd and an end to the systemic and intentional acts of oppression imposed upon communities of color.  George Floyd is now among countless, precious Black lives lost due to the imbalance of power in this country that has been perpetuated by racism.  Systemic racism must end.  We must hold ourselves accountable as allies to act as a relentless force for positive change.

Community Action was created in 1964 from the efforts of the Civil Rights Movement as part of the federal Economic Opportunity Act in the “War on Poverty”. In our role in the community, WCAC must renew and strengthen our calls for an end to the poverty and inequity that threaten our society.

We will be a strong voice against injustice, oppression and hate by advocating for policies that create equitable access to education, health, social and economic systems.

We will continue to work to stabilize individuals and households through our programs while deepening our resolve to create economic self-sufficiency through financial building blocks.

We will continue our leadership role in the City of Worcester’s Safe and Successful Youth Initiative in partnership with the Worcester Police Department and Worcester Public Schools, recognizing youth employment and education are pathways for success.

We will continue to invest resources in our youngest children across Southern Worcester County from ages zero to five as we help prepare them for long-term success in school and life.

We will use our agency’s purchasing power to support African American, Latinx and Immigrant- owned businesses by purchasing goods and services.

We will support a diverse staff at all levels to work within our own agency staff to examine, change and navigate ourselves and our community into a just and equitable era.

We will listen to the needs of our community and routinely shift our work to address these needs directly.

We will partner with you, and like-minded organizations, to support initiatives that help our community heal, unify, and become stronger.

Together, we can make meaningful reforms, and change the course of the future for our children.

Signed,

Marybeth Campbell, Executive Director                    Noreen Johnson Smith, WCAC Board Chair

Statement endorsed by WCAC Board of Directors 6/2/2020