Aug 6

Care Connection volunteers help return $880,000 in income tax to area

Date: August 6, 2015 | Category: News

Volunteers for the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program this year provided help to file claims for nearly 1,400 people in the 13-county service area for Care Connection for Aging Services. Their work resulted in the return of more than $800,000 to seniors to spend in their local communities.
The TCE tax volunteers helped file 618 federal income tax returns, 616 state income tax returns and 783 claims for Missouri Property Tax Credit, also known as the Circuit Breaker, according to Kathy Ray-Smith, who directs the TCE Program for Care Connection.
The refunds and credits amounted to $880,407 that stayed in the local communities, Ray-Smith said.
The program, which is based in senior centers, enlists volunteers who complete seniors’ income tax returns and Circuit Breaker claims free of charge. In 2015, 24 volunteers helped people at 20 sites in the service area.
In addition, the Internal Revenue Service, which funds the program through a grant, issued reports of 100 percent compliance after in-person monitoring of four sites. Such feedback is a testament to the high quality of work these volunteers have performed, Smith said. In all, the volunteers donated 1,315 hours to the program. Area-wide, the value of the volunteer hours was calculated to be $29,587. The greatest participation came from seven Hickory County volunteers who contributed 826 hours at the McCarty Senior Center in Wheatland.
The volunteers also helped many of the seniors file electronically, a procedure that the IRS encourages.
“Many of our volunteers are retired tax professionals who now are giving back to the community,” Ray-Smith said. “I cannot say enough good things about our volunteers.”
Care Connection for Aging Services is a non-profit agency serving Bates, Benton, Carroll, Cedar, Chariton, Henry, Hickory, Johnson, and Lafayette, Pettis, Saline, St. Clair and Vernon counties. Its mission is to provide resources and services that empower people to create healthy aging experiences.
For more information, call 1-800-748-7826 or email us at information@goaging.org.

Here is a look by county at the amount of money reclaimed and returned in federal and state income tax and the Circuit Breaker property tax credit:
Benton $120,651
Cedar $91,867
Henry $103,647
Hickory $239,652
Johnson $188,320
Lafayette $49,618
Pettis $63,892
St. Clair $3,487
Saline $19,273