Curbelo, Davis Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Permanently Extend Tax Preparation Services for Low-Income Americans

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Washington, D.C., June 15, 2017 | Joanna Rodriguez (202-225-2778) | comments

Representatives Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Danny Davis (D-IL), Members of the Committee on Ways and Means, introduced bipartisan legislation to permanently extend the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

The “Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Permanence Act of 2017,” H.R. 2901, would authorize the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to administer a matching grant program – a program where the federal government partners with the local community to provide tax preparation services for individuals with an annual income of less than $54,000 and those with limited proficiency in English. The legislation also ensures that VITA grant recipients, who already have accuracy rates of 94%, including tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit, maintain strong records of accuracy that will save taxpayers money.

“While the leadership of the IRS has been the subject of controversy in recent years, the work done through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program must continue,” Curbelo said. “The VITA program is critical for low-income Americans and ensures tax payers can confidently file returns without fear of being scammed by fraudulent preparers.”

“The VITA program is an essential resource to families,” Davis said.  “This bill helps ensure that VITA centers will continue to help millions of families by providing high-quality free tax preparation services and building assets for the future via financial literacy tools and savings strategies. “

Curbelo and Davis have been consistent advocates for the VITA program. Curbelo and Davis previously led a group of 55 bipartisan Members of Congress in a letter to urge House Appropriations leaders to provide full and robust funding for these programs. Curbelo also urged Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin to protect funding for programs like VITA during a Ways and Means Committee hearing last month, and had advocated for level funding that was included in the President’s budget earlier this year.

A PDF of the legislation is available here.

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