Single Stop was recently presented with a national award for its innovative work in helping low-income individuals prepare and file their tax returns in the face of the health, economic and social challenges gripping the nation.
Tax Time Allies, a group of organizations providing tax preparation services to low income people, and The Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation, which supports programs that promote financial literacy and independence, recently created the Tax Time Allies ACE Award for agencies that go above and beyond in helping these individuals prepare their tax returns.
“Your friends and fans with Tax Time Allies/Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation want to thank you and recognize what you have done to (once again) role model excellence and innovation,” Susan Mason, Director, Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation said in a letter announcing the award. “We are in awe of – but not at all surprised by –what Single Stop has done to reimagine the VITA experience.”
Single Stop participates in the Internal Revenue Service’s VITA (volunteer income tax assistance program), which offers free tax return preparation to individuals below the $56,000 income threshold, persons with disabilities and limited English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns.
Sarah Crawford, National Director, Partnerships and Programs for Single Stop, said that as part of Single Stop’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, it developed a Home Virtual End-to-End contactless VITA preparation program. The company engaged a HIPAA-compliant video conference service for identity verification, an electronic drop box for document upload that can be done from a phone, and electronic e-sign software to lets taxpayers authorize e-files. Each step was approved by the IRS and was implemented within two weeks.
“On behalf of all of Single Stop, our board of directors, the staff and all of the people we serve, thank you to the Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation for your support of our life-changing work and this recognition,” Sarah said. “Our Single Stop tax team, led by German Tejeda and Arlene Sabdull, worked tirelessly to adapt our model in order to continue serving taxpayers virtually. We are proud to be a Tax Time Ally and help thousands across the country to make the most of their tax time moment.”