IRS – Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (2015)

APPLICATIONS DUE: June 1, 2015, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time

Description: This opportunity allows IRS to provide grants to organizations to achieve the following program objectives 1) Enable the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program to extend services to underserved populations in hardest-to-reach areas, both urban and non-urban; 2) Increase the capacity to file returns electronically; 3) Heighten quality control; 4) Enhance training of volunteers; and 5) Improve significantly the accuracy rate of returns prepared at VITA sites. The VITA Grant program supplements the work already being done in the VITA Program by providing support to help organizations grow their existing programs. Because the VITA grant is in support of the VITA Program, grant recipients are required to follow existing guidance governing VITA site operations and to file all eligible returns electronically.

Funding Title: Volunteer Income Tax assistance

Agency Name: Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

Funding Instrument Type: Grant

Express Language for Legal Aid: No. But legal aid programs have received funding under this program.

Target Population:  Low to moderate income individuals (defined by the earned income tax credit (EITC) threshold), persons with disabilities, the elderly, and those having limited English proficiency

Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement:   This grant requires 100% cost sharing or matching of all federal funds requested. All applicants must provide documentation explaining matching funds on a dollar-for-dollar basis. For example, if you request $50,000 in grant funds, you must provide matching funds for at least $50,000. Only funds in support of the VITA Program qualify as matching funds.

Grant funds received from the Legal Services Corporation are not considered federal funds and therefore can be used as a source of matching funds. However, they may only be used once for IRS grant matching purposes. That is to say, the same funds may not be used as match for a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic grant and for a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance grant.

There are many examples of federal funds that can not be used as match. They include monies received from other IRS grant programs (Low Income Taxpayer Clinic and Tax Counseling for the Elderly) as well as monies or services received for programs sponsored by other federal agencies. Loan of IRS equipment or printers, IRS training or publicity materials, IRS provided tax preparation software or services of IRS employees while performing their job may not be used as match.

How to Apply: Before submitting a grant application, all organizations should ensure they meet basic eligibility as explained in the previous section and then take the following actions:

• Secure a Dun & Bradstreet Universal Number (DUNS),

• Register with the System for Award Management (SAM), and/or

• Check both to ensure applicant information is correct and accounts are still active.

• Determine if application is subject to review by the state under Executive Order 12372.

• Register with in order to receive updates and to submit application electronically.

Current Closing Date for Applications: June 1, 2015, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time

Estimated Total Program Funding: Approximately $12,000,000

Award Ceiling: $1,000,000

Award Floor: $1,000

Eligible Applicants:

  • A private or public non-profit organization that qualified for and received an IRS determination letter confirming the organization’s tax exemption under section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 including but not limited to educational institutions, credit unions, or faith based and community organizations, or
  • A state or local government agency
  • A federally recognized Indian Tribal government, or
  • A regional, statewide, or local coalition with one lead organization that meets one of the eligibility requirements noted above. The lead organization filing the application must have a substantive role in the coalition.

Policy and Regulations on Use of Funds:

Link to Full Announcement:

Contact Information: Grant Program Office, 404.338.7894 (not a toll-free number), E-mail address: (E-mail is the preferred method of communication.) Hours of Operation: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST

Categories: Elderly, Federal Tax, Government Organizations, Individuals with Disabilities, Internal Revenue Service, Limited English Proficiency (LEP), Native American Tribes or Tribal Organizations, Non-profit Organizations, Subgrant Possibilities

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