When you think of Goodwill, you're probably thinking about that great deal you got on a pair of jeans, or a great coat.   But Goodwill Industries of Central Michigan’s Heartland  does a lot more than just running the retail stores we all know and love.  One thing they can do is help you get that tax return done if you meet the qualifications.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to households who generally make $55,000 or less, persons with disabilities and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.   Sheryl Watson has been a VITA Community Coordinator for ten years, but says the program has been around since the mid-1970s.   

Watson appeared on the 95.3 WBCK Morning Show with Tim Collins, along with Goodwill's Jerry Mainstone to talk about that program and many others that Goodwill is involved in in our community.  Check out the video. 

Watson says volunteers  will complete the necessary documents to verify the taxpayers receive any credit or deduction they are eligible for.

  • Iindividuals and families needing taxes done will require a photo id and social security or individual tax identification numbers for all individuals they will be claiming.
  • Individuals can contact 2-1-1 to schedule an appointment at one of our locations in Calhoun or Branch counties. Once an appointment is scheduled, 2-1-1 will mail an appointment reminder card which will also have a list of the required documents that may be needed to complete your return.
  •  Some returns are out of the scope of our training and the tax preparer may need to seek the assistance of a professional tax preparer.

Jerry Mainstone also talked about Goodwill's mission, " Changing Lives Through the Power of Work", and various programs they offer.

  • The Financial Opportunity Center.  Goodwill provides bundled services to teach individuals how to reach and maintain financial stability. They do this by providing bundled services which are financial literacy and coaching, income supports, and employment placement and coaching.
  • Goodwill Connects.  A  partnership with the school districts in the Battle Creek area to help high school juniors and seniors transition from high school to employment.
  • Good Systems is a program where Goodwill works with single parents so they can earn an industry-recognized credential, so they can find employment and the resources they need to support the development of their children.
  • Wheels to Work – Goodwill uses donated vehicles to provide low-cost, affordable, and dependable transportation to qualified persons for whom reliable transportation is a barrier to employment.