VITA Sites and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

First Nations Development Institute provides information about Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Sites and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in Native communities.

(2013) - 409.02 KB

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites are a useful tool for providing free tax preparation services to low-to-moderate income people and helping them claim a range of valuable tax credits, including the Earned Income Tax Credit. In addition, they can help individuals avoid high fees for tax preparation services and also avoid high-cost loans against tax refunds. Data from several of First Nations' recent Native VITA site grantees reveal the tremendous impact these programs can have in Native communities.

(2013) - 3.86 MB

Most rural Native VITA sites, unlike urban VITA sites, face a unique set of challenges. The geographic isolation, low volunteer retention rates, economically distressed communities, and overall distrust of the federal government among many Native Americans can limit the success of traditional VITA site models (i.e., models developed by the IRS). In this report, we propose some best practices designed to address these unique challenges.

(2009) - 1.54 MB

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) returns over $44 billion each year to low-to-moderate income working families and lifts approximately five million people above the poverty line. Unfortunately, paid tax preparers have weakened the economic impact of the EITC by over $600 million a year by offering Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs). This report provides data on the use of RALs in Native communities.

(2007) - 3.25 MB

Chapter 2 begins with two introductory sections that demonstrate the importance of both developing financial management skills and increasing research related to the potential effects of increasing financial education opportunities in Native communities. The chapter is then broken into three sections focused on topics seen as essential for developing greater financial management and investment skills in Native communities.

(2005) - 2.53 MB

This publication provides guidance to tribal leaders and community organizers who want to improve awareness about the Earned Income Tax Credit and expand affordable access to tax preparation services in Native communities.

(2005) - 202.66 KB

This research study, supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and First Nations Development Institute was conducted by the Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. This paper explores the impact and potential uses of EITC and other tax refunds in Native communities.

(2004) - 800.35 KB

The purpose of this curriculum is to enable Native community members to expand their financial skills to access the Earned Income Tax Credit in a cost effective way to help improve the financial standing of themselves, their family, and their community.