VITA: Retake Money from the Government to Give to the Poor

I’ve spent the last couple of days in all-day training sessions for volunteers in San Francisco’s “Earn It! Keep It! Save It!” program, which is designed to help folks who might qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit with their tax paperwork. I’ve got another day of computer lab work and then a couple of specialty-classes next week, and then they’ll drop me into one of 14,000 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance centers.

On the one hand I’m amazed I’m putting up with this. I’ve only got a life expectancy of seventy-some years, so two days of putting up with lectures about the intricacies and peculiarities of tax law seems about two days too many.

On the other hand, this local “Earn It!…” program has a goal of taking about two-and-a-half million dollars out of the federal government’s hands and returning it to the people it was stolen from. That’s better than the best war tax resister has managed to do solo. I’ve fretted in past Picket Line entries about the difficulty of reclaiming money lost to the payroll tax. The Earned Income Tax Credit is one way of doing this. , the feds will pay out some $38 billion in Child Tax Credits and EITC, which is a pretty good sized hunk of the $710 billion or so that they take in payroll taxes.