“It’s tax season!”
That was what United Way of LaPorte County’s Director of Corporate Engagement David Sisk exclaimed when 1st Source Bank presented a $5,000 check to the United Way Wednesday morning.
At United Way’s new office in Michigan City, 1st Source Bank Regional President, Matt Vessely, presented the check on behalf of the bank to go towards United Way’s VITA program (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance). In partnership with 1st Source Bank, Michigan City Public Library, the Salvation Army in LaPorte, and Purdue University Northwest, the United Way of LaPorte County is able to serve community members during the tax season with VITA.
VITA provides tax returns for free for individuals in two different ways:
If an individual earns $60k or less annually, they can have their taxes done by an IRS-certified volunteer at either partner sites, Michigan City Public Library, or the Salvation Army in LaPorte.
If an individual earns $66k or less annually, they can go online to myfreetaxes.com and do their taxes without payment.
The IRS-certified volunteers are business and accounting students that are enrolled at Purdue University Northwest. Students receive a one-hour credit stipend for volunteering and get hands on experience in what they’re going to school for. In addition to experience and credit, the United Way brings in local accountants to meet and talk with the students. It’s a perfect opportunity for students to get involved for a good cause while networking and building their resume at the same time.
The money donated to the United Way was a grant that came from the 1st Source Bank Foundation. Like many other charities and causes, the bank created a foundation to invest into the community and give back to the United Way.
“People are getting their taxes prepared. They’re getting refunds that they might otherwise not get, which brings money back into the community, which brings back money to people who need it, and it’s just a great thing,” said Vessely.
Last year, VITA served 1,269 people and the average tax return was $1,700 per tax payer. Between costs of DIY tax software programs and paying to get taxes done, about $190,000 was saved by filing taxes through United Way’s VITA program. The total return on investment of the donation that 1st Source Bank made last year was an incredible $2.3 million, all kept in the community.
“We couldn’t do it without 1st Source Bank. United Way’s across the board are pretty good with stretching those dollars, and I think this is one of those examples of how much $5,000 can stretch into,” said David Sisk of United Way.
To learn more about 1st Source Bank, visit https://www.1stsource.com/.
To find out more about how you can get your taxes done through VITA, call 211, United Way’s live answering information system.