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Salt Lake City, Utah
 
 
 
Contact Information

If you, your business, or organization are interested in becoming a part of the Disability Initiative Workgroup, please contact Melissa Jensen, Work Supports Policy Analyst, Community Action Partnership of Utah at [email protected].

 

 

If you are already a member of the Disability Initiative Workgroup and have questions regarding the IRS participation, then please contact Steve Jones at [email protected].

 
  
 
Disability Initiative Workgroup

The disability initiative has proven to be a successful part of the Earn it. Keep it. Save it. coalition serving the state of Utah. Tax season 2008 was the first year that the statewide coalition developed a plan of action to connect to this underserved population. Although the grant has been provided to undertake work primarily in the Salt Lake City area, it transpired that the whole state has benefited from the efforts of the Disability Initiative. In tax season 2008 three organizations partnered directly with the Earn it. Keep it. Save it colaition to provide tax services to this client population. These sites were: Pioneer Adult Rehabilitation Center (PARC) in Davis County, Columbus Community Center in Salt Lake County (both of which hosted traditional VITA sites) and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Center, also in Salt Lake County. All 3 of these locations will be sites again during this forthcoming tax season. In additional to providing these three specifc opportunities the statewide Earn it. Keep it. Save it. coalition also ensured that the majority of VITA sites were accessible. In total 1288 returns were filed for people identifying themselves as having a disability - this figure represents 9% of the total returns filed through the VITA program in Utah.

After the success of the Disability Initiative during tax season 2008, the Earn it. Keep it. Save it. coalition is excited to further develop this portion of the VITA program. Although 1288 returns were filed, there are significantly more eligible tax payers living in Utah that have not been served, especially as the income threshold has increased to $49,000. As such the partnerships with the existing partners will be expanded to include customized Asset Building education. The Earn it. Keep it. Save it. coalition has partnered with AAA Fair Credit (a local debt counselling non-profit) to provide basic financial edcuation classes, sepcifically regarding the IDA program (which has been expanded to allow the purchase of assistive devices). It is also anticpated that another meeting, with the relevant community partners, will be held prior to the beginning of tax season. The goal of this meeting would be to engage additional community organizations as partners in this work, it is hoped that these partnerships will provide new opportunities for outreach and roving VITA sites (Utah has 6 roving VITA sites which are able to serve almost every county in the state). As a result of these efforts it is anticpated that there will be a minimum 15% increase in the number of tax payers with disabilties utilising the VITA program.