The Inclusive Economy
Taxpayer Opportunity Network Celebrates Second Successful Tax Season
By Fran Rosebush Baylor on 04/07/2016 @ 10:00 AM
On April 18, the Taxpayer Opportunity Network will complete its second tax season, which was marked with extraordinary successes. This tax season, we saw the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program reach its highest levels of production and quality ever. Over the past several months, CFED helped convert the success of VITA on the ground into policy victories in Washington, including congressional approval of an additional $3 million in funding for community tax programs nationwide. And, in March, we celebrated our second-annual VITA Awareness Day with a Policy Forum on Capitol Hill to help show the importance of VITA programs to the taxpayers they serve. None of this would have been possible without the unwavering commitment of the 700+ members who comprise the Taxpayer Opportunity Network.
CFED and the Network’s VITA Awareness Day, held on March 15, was designed to increase awareness of and support for VITA. On Capitol Hill, we brought together an esteemed panel of experts to discuss challenges and opportunities facing low- and moderate-income taxpayers, and we released CFED’s new policy brief, which outlines promising reforms to ensure the program’s effectiveness for years to come. Across the country, Network members leveraged new data to draw attention to their vital services and raise awareness among key local stakeholders who can help sustain and expand their work.
As if those victories weren’t enough, the Network remained deeply engaged in the many learning events designed to build the capacity of members. Responding to the needs of Network members, CFED has organized and executed nearly 20 virtual learning events in the past 18 months, developed monthly newsletters and weekly or bi-weekly editions of Tax Prep Dispatch, and launched a new online training platform featuring three courses designed exclusively for Network members. In order to stay ahead of the issues facing the VITA field, the Taxpayer Opportunity Network has also built relationships to connect its 700+ members through listervs, regular communications and its new Steering Committee, as well as with national partners such as the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities, Tax Credits for Working Families and the Internal Revenue Service.
With tax season coming to a close, the Taxpayer Opportunity Network is now shifting gears, preparing to carry this momentum into 2017. Without a doubt, it does so with its position solidified as the trusted voice and leader of the community tax prep field.
If you are not already a member of the Taxpayer Opportunity Network, you can become a member today.