Just Harvest completed a record 2,958 federal tax returns and $6.03 million in refunds this tax season thanks to our talented, dedicated, and hardworking tax team. The most remarkable part is we broke our record during an extra challenging tax season.
The IRS gave VITA programs across the country new tax software to use, so everyone had to learn the new program and adjust to new rules and processes. The new software meant we had to re-enter all the data for our returning taxpayers and fill out local tax forms by hand. We estimate that it took an extra 10 minutes per taxpayer to complete these extra steps, so that’s nearly 500 hours of extra time squeezed into a 13-week tax season.
That means everyone on the tax team worked harder than ever to serve our taxpayers. This program would not be possible without those dedicated volunteers. We so deeply appreciate them.
And despite these additional demands, our volunteers and tax staff were able to give each taxpayer the attention and high quality service that they’ve come to expect at Just Harvest. The wait may have been longer some days, but taxpayers were not rushed and preparers stayed late and came during extra shifts to make sure we got to everyone.
We also want to thank our partners who host our satellite tax sites: Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh at Bedford Hope Center, CCAC at Boyce Campus, and South Hills Interfaith Movement at Prospect Park Family Center. They provide space, equipment, staff, and a link to the community to make sure all of our sites are a success.