Friday, December 21, 2018

Preparing to put money back in the pockets of local residents

Last tax season, 731 Federal tax returns filed by Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) partners funded by Berkshire United Way returned $1 million of the total $2.2 million VITA dollars returned to Berkshire County residents!

It’s been a busy November as we begin preparations for the upcoming tax season with our VITA partners at Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity and the Hilltown Community Development Corporation.

VITA  partners from Berkshire United Way, the Hilltown Community Development Corporation and Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity meet to prepare for the upcoming tax season.
In collaboration with Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, we recently hosted a tax training for self-employed members of the community. Accountant Dorine Lasky from Chester, Massachusetts, facilitated the training to help local, self-employed individuals – a need that was identified last VITA season.

Ten people representing local businesses attended the training and according to Ms. Lasky, "Questions and answers flowed...a good mix of backgrounds and professions made it an enjoyable and informative two hours." 

One small business owner commented, "Her explanations were clear and concise, she was very friendly and was able to answer many different questions on tax and accounting topics ranging from what percentage of your small business at home qualifies for a deduction to how to help contracted workers with their taxes.” Our partners at the Hilltown Community Development Corporation, will be hosting a similar training with Ms. Lasky this winter.

In addition to the training, informational sessions were held for VITA volunteers who will give their time and talent as greeters and tax preparers. Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity will host volunteer trainings in December and January and Berkshire United Way will offer additional information sessions as additional volunteers sign up.

Our goal is to exceed the number of tax returns filed last year, so we can put even more money back in the pockets of local residents. For more information on how you can help, please contact me at, or give me a call at 413-442-6948 ext. 36.

I look forward to hearing from you!

James Swinchoski
Economic Prosperity VISTA

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