News

SEVCA Remains Open and Announces Changes to Service Delivery in Response to COVID-19

Services remain available for Windham and Windsor County Residents 

Effective 3/18/2020

SEVCA is committed to serving Windham and Windsor County residents to the best of our ability under all circumstances. But, effective Wednesday March 18th, we will be changing the way we provide services, at least through April 3rd, and possibly longer, to be determined at a later date.

As a response to growing concerns about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and in order to keep community members and staff safe, SEVCA will revise program delivery for all programs, as follows:  All requests for services and appointments will be handled strictly by telephone or other methods not requiring in-person contact, and all SEVCA offices and program sites will be closed to the public. Family Services staff will continue to offer fuel & housing assistance and other crisis intervention services, and Economic Development staff will provide Micro Business, Financial Fitness, Matched Savings, and Ready for Work services, all by phone.  The VITA program will continue to provide Income Tax Preparation Assistance at our Westminster, Windsor, and White River Junction sites, but it will now be done by having clients drop off their tax documents at their assigned site, and then clients will be contacted by phone for further service instead of sitting with the preparer as it has been done in the past.

In-home Weatherization program services are temporarily suspended, except for requests for Emergency Heating System Repair and Replacement, which will be handled by phone. Home Repair will also be suspending its in-home services, except for completion of jobs already started. Head Start classes and facilities are closed in compliance with the statewide school closing mandate but will continue to offer services directly to enrolled families via phone, internet, and social media. SEVCA’s Good Buy Thrift stores will be closed starting Friday March 20th, except by appointment for fulfilling emergency vouchers prepared by Family Service staff.  Inquiries for services and appointment requests may continue to be made by calling (802) 722-4575 or (800) 464-9951, or by calling any of our satellite locations in Brattleboro, Springfield, White River Junction, and Windsor.  For information about our program phone numbers, visit https://www.sevca.org/contact/sevca-locations. Stay connected to www.sevca.org for updates about services and timelines.

SEVCA works to find solutions to the deep-seated problems of poverty, largely by empowering and collaborating with those whose lives are affected by it daily. The agency can assist in addressing people's immediate needs for fuel, housing, food, and other essentials to help stabilize their lives in the short term, and provide further tools and support to help them achieve greater financial independence in the longer term. SEVCA recognizes that this is a time of great need and challenge for our communities. Every member of this area is impacted by the actions that we take today. SEVCA will remain diligent and proactive in serving our communities and meeting the growing and changing needs, while keeping both our customers and our staff safe.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Carolyn Sweet

Telephone: 802-722-4575

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website: www.sevca.org

SEVCA offers appointments by telephone

Effective Tuesday March 17th, SEVCA will continue to serve Windham and Windsor County residents but will be changing the way it provides services. All services provided by our Family Services staff (e.g., fuel & housing assistance and other crisis intervention services) and by our Economic Development staff (Micro Business, Financial Fitness, Matched Savings, and Ready for Work) will be provided by phone.  Head Start classrooms will close starting Wednesday March 18th in compliance with the statewide school closing mandate.  Weatherization is suspending work in people’s homes for at least until March 20th and possibly longer.  Emergency Heating System Repair / Replacement will continue, following the most recent state guidelines.  We will update you on our Thrift Stores and VITA Tax Preparation programs as soon as those decisions are made.

Appointments can be scheduled by calling our Westminster office – (802) 722-4575 or (800) 464-9951 – or any of our satellite locations in Brattleboro, Springfield, White River Junction and Windsor.  For information about our program phone numbers, visit  https://www.sevca.org/contact/sevca-locations. Stay connected to www.sevca.org for updates about services.

Avoid the rush after Presidents Day holiday; Use IRS’ online tools to get help

IRS, WASHINGTON — With a surge of tax returns expected the two weeks following the Feb. 17 Presidents Day holiday, the Internal Revenue Service is offering taxpayers several tips and various time-saving resources to get them the help they need quickly and easily.

To help avoid this period of high telephone demand, the IRS encourages taxpayers and tax preparers to use online resources available at IRS.gov. And when it comes time to file, taxpayers are encouraged to file electronically and choose direct deposit for faster refunds. Filing electronically reduces tax return errors as the tax software does the calculations, flags common errors and prompts taxpayers for missing information.

Here are a few featured tips to avoid the rush.

  • Use IRS.gov to track refunds. The IRS issues more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. IRS customer service representatives cannot answer refund questions until it has been 21 days or more since the taxpayer filed electronically, or six weeks since they mailed a paper return. But taxpayers can track their refund anytime by using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on IRS.gov and the IRS2Go app. Taxpayers can also call the IRS refund hotline at 800-829-1954.
  • Taxpayers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit can use the “Where’s My Refund?” tool to track refunds too. By law, the IRS cannot release refunds that include EITC or the ACTC before February 15. “Where’s My Refund?” on IRS.gov and the IRS2Go app will be updated with projected deposit dates for most early EITC/ACTC refund filers by Feb. 22. IRS expects most EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards by the first week of March, if they chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with their tax return.
  • Use IRS.gov to find answers to tax questions. IRS offers a variety of online tools to help taxpayers answer common tax questions. For example, taxpayers can search the Interactive Tax Assistant, Tax Topics, Frequently Asked Questions, and Tax Trails to get faster answers.
  • Let free tax software or free volunteer assistance do the work. Most taxpayers who want to prepare their own returns can file electronically for free with IRS Free File. Alternatively taxpayers who qualify can get free tax help from trained volunteers at community sites around the country.
  • Turn to a trusted tax professional. To find more information about choosing a tax return preparer, including understanding the differences in credentials and qualifications, visit www.irs.gov/chooseataxpro.
  • Use digital payment options if additional tax is owed. Some taxpayers may receive a smaller refund or even owe an unexpected tax bill when they file their 2019 tax return particularly if they didn’t do a Paycheck Checkup in 2019. Taxpayers should use the IRS Tax Withholding Estimator to make sure they are withholding enough tax in 2020.
  • Make an appointment before visiting an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers. Anyone who needs face-to-face service should make an appointment before showing up. Most TAC visits can be avoided by using online tools available on IRS.gov.
  • Call the employer first for that missing Form W-2. Those who have not received a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, from one or more employers should first contact the issuer to inform them of the missing form. Those who do not get a response must still file on time and may need to use Form 4852, Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, or Form 1099R, Distributions From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans and IRA's Insurance Contracts.
  • Use the IRS Services Guide and the Let Us Help You page on IRS.gov to find additional ways to get help.  
  • Use the Tax Information for Members of the Military page on IRS.gov for details on tax benefits for military members and veterans, filing options and more.

Save Money & Eat Well!

Working Vermonters with income under $55,952 may qualify to get a credit or refund on their taxes. It's called EITC, the Earned Income Tax Credit. You can get EITC even if you do not owe taxes.

Find out if you qualify for the federal and Vermont EITC by calling SEVCA to set up a FREE tax prep appointment with one of our IRS-certified volunteers. 

Or contact the IRS, 800-829-1040 or www.irs.gov. You can also dial 2-1-1, free from anywhere in Vermont, for information about free tax help services. 

If you receive the Vermont EITC and have children under 18 then you likely qualify for 3SquaresVT- a nutrition program that helps you buy more food. When kids get 3SquaresVT benefits, they also get free school meals. 

Apply now! Call SEVCA at 800-464-9951 OR Dial 2-1-1 OR visit www.vermontfoodhelp.com.

Not sure if you received the Vermont EITC?

Check your last tax return or call the VT Tax Department at 1-866-828-2865. 

grocery shopping 

Tax Season is OPEN! FREE help is available.

It is time to think about filing your taxes and SEVCA can help. Through a generous grant from the Granite United Way, the VITA program offers free tax help to community members in both VT and NH who make $66,000 or less, people with disabilities, and limited English speaking taxpaters who need assistance in preparing their own returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return with electronic filing to qualified individuals. 

Another option for most tax payers is to get an early start on their federal tax returns using IRS Free File- featuring brand-name online tax providers which opened on 1/10/2020. Taxpapers whose adjusted gross income was $69,000 or less in 2019-covering most people - can do their taxes now, and the Free File Provider will submit the return once the IRS officially opens the 2020 tax filing season on January 27 and starts processing tax returns.

Here's how each option works.

For FREE Tax preparation, call SEVCA today for an appointment, 800-464-9951 or 802-722-4575. Sites in Westminster, Windsor, and White River Junction. Click HERE for more info. 

If you live in NH, Call 2-1-1 or visit the website, NHTaxHelp.org to schedule an appointment. 

To utilize IRS Free File, here's how it works:

1) Go to IRS.gov/FreeFile to see all Free File options.

2) Browse each of the offers or use a 'look up' tool to help you find the right product. Each Free File partner sets its own eligibility standards generally based on income, age, and state residency. But if the taxpayer's gross adjusted income was $69,000 or less, they will find at least one product to use. 

3) Select a provider and follow the links to their webpage to begin a tax return.

4) Complete and e-file a tax return only if you have all of the income and deduction records you need. The fastest way to get a refund is by filing electronically and selecting direct deposit. If you owe, use direct pay or electronic options.

For more information from the IRS, click here.

“If SEVCA hadn’t provided heat this winter, I might not be alive to write this.”

SEVCA Client