Navigating through the professional world presents many paths. In my experience as a young professional, it seems that we have our own unique routes to explore. Not only are young professionals looking to grow, learn and excel in our professions, we are also learning how to navigate the world of “adulting.” For those unfamiliar with the term:
One responsibility we all face is TAXES. This responsibility can raise anxiety within those who are new to the “grown-up” world (myself included), but I’m here to tell you to lay your worries to rest. If you have a household income of up to $66,000, you can get your taxes done for FREE at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site. VITA is an initiative of Granite United Way, a nonprofit that focuses on helping all people learn, earn and be healthy. Granite United Way focuses on financial stability (earn) in the community and provides FREE tax preparation for low to moderate income individuals and families. VITA, in my opinion, is invaluable to young professionals. It can be intimidating to do your taxes on your own for the first, second or even third time (especially if numbers aren’t your forte.)
It’s easy to schedule your appointment, just dial 2-1-1 and ask the operator about VITA! If talking on the phone isn’t your thing (totally valid, I feel you) New Hampshire residents can visit NHTaxHelp to schedule an appointment. I used NHTaxHelp and was pleased with how quick it was. Both 2-1-1 and NHTaxHelp will provide you with a confirmation email and send you a reminder email as well. The email will detail what to bring with you and provides an intake form to download, print and fill out. If you need accessibility accommodations, they are happy to help.
On the way to my appointment I was excited, but also a little nervous. The past year included some changes that affected my tax return. In 2018, my wife and I divorced, and I would need to disclose that information to my volunteer tax preparer. As part of the LGBTQ+ community, I often have to ‘out’ myself to strangers and at times it can be an uncomfortable situation. My experience with this program was a positive one where I felt safe and confident in my tax preparer’s professionalism. It’s an important aspect of the experience because we are sharing sensitive information; our financial information, our personal information. VITA volunteers pass the IRS Standards of Conduct Certification, they maintain confidentiality, and all sites display a statement that your civil rights are respected. This is especially important for millennials who “are the most diverse generation in U.S. history, now 44 percent minority,” according to the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings.
All in all, I would completely recommend VITA to all who are eligible but especially to young professionals/millennials. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program is a total win for adulting, and financial stability in our community. I think Ben Franklin said it best: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” So, while we’re living let’s make the most of it and get our taxes done for FREE!
P.S. If you’re more of a DIY person check out MyFreeTaxes.com. “If your household earned less than $66,000 in 2018, you can file both your federal and state returns for free using MyFreeTaxes.com. According to MyFreeTaxes.com this the only free, national, online tax filing product offered by a nonprofit. United Way has made it available to over 100 million U.S. taxpayers as part of our fight for the financial stability of every person in every community.”
About the Author
Hannah is a longtime New Hampshire resident and obtained her BFA from the New Hampshire Institute of Art in 2016. She majored in Graphic Design and now works for Granite United Way as their Marketing & Digital Media Coordinator. Hannah is a passionate advocate for environmental, civil and animal rights. She also uses her talents as a graphic designer to spread awareness about chiropractic care for Vibrant Health Chiropractic in Bow.