News Release

Lifeline for the Empowerment and Development of Consumers, Inc.
PO Box 496, Painesville, OH 44077
Contact: Carrie Dotson | (440) 354-2148 |

Lifeline Concludes Tax Season, Prepares over $125,000 in Returns for Lake Co. Residents

May 27, 2016
PAINESVILLE, Ohio— Lifeline, Inc. has concluded its 2016 tax season with great results, according to the agency’s administration.

“We had a very busy, and very productive tax season,” said Carrie Dotson, Executive Director. “Our VITA volunteers prepared tax returns for 115 Lake County residents, totaling $128,495 in state and federal tax returns into our community.”

Final statistics for the VITA Program for the 2016 tax season show that 115 residents had their taxes prepared at a Lifeline VITA tax clinic and that 58 of them received the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Total returns generated at Lifeline’s VITA clinics were $128,495.

The EITC is a federal income tax credit for low to moderate income working families and individuals. Congress originally approved it in 1975. Eligibility factors include how much you earned in 2015 and how many children you have. Even single adults and couples without children can qualify for the credit, although families with children receive larger credits

“We’re really excited about the number of people that we served with free tax preparation services this season—it was one of our highest numbers in recent years,” Dotson said. “We’re also really pleased to bring that kind of revenue back into the Lake County community.”

Lifeline VITA Site Coordinator, Tiffany Menosky agreed that the program was very successful this year.

“I am very excited that the Lifeline VITA program was able to meet the IRS goal of at least 100 completed returns for the 2016 tax season. We completed 115 tax returns this year and brought over $125,000 back to the economy in Lake County,” said Menosky. “This is a true accomplishment for our volunteers who gave their time to helping others and to the Lifeline staff who helped make the program a success.”

Lifeline, Inc. uses volunteers trained and certified by the IRS through its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. VITA volunteers provide free income tax assistance to low-income, elderly and disabled people. Throughout the 2016 tax season, volunteers donated 266 hours to Lifeline’s VITA Program.

Menosky agreed that the volunteers really provided great service to the clients who participated.

“Our volunteers are the lifeblood of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and we would not be able to provide this service to our clients without them,” said Menosky. “We have been lucky enough to have volunteers who have been with our program since the beginning, in the 2010 tax season. The commitment of these individuals is greatly appreciated and an immeasurable value to our county. The dedication of the volunteers allows us to continue to achieve our mission of helping our clients to become self-sufficient.”

Lifeline, Inc. has hosted VITA Tax clinics since 2010 and in that time has prepared tax filings for 787 residents. Over these seven years, volunteers have given 2,084 hours and $974,782 in returns has been generated for Lake County residents.

Lifeline, Inc. will host VITA tax clinics beginning again in January 2017. While specific clinic details will not be available until December 2016, Lifeline is already looking for volunteers who are interested in preparing taxes next season. Anyone interested can contact Michelle Mezaris, Lifeline’s Director of Community Services at (440) 354-2148.

Lifeline for the Empowerment and Development of Consumers was founded in 1973 with the mission of helping Lake County residents by providing them assistance and life skills programming that is designed to increase self-sufficiency. In 1980 Lifeline became a participating agency of the United Way of Lake County, UWLC, and in 1987 was designated a community action agency by the Ohio Development Services Agency, ODSA. In 2008, Lifeline was designated as a mental health agency by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and
Addiction Services.

Today Lifeline continues with the same mission of helping Lake County’s low-income residents break the cycle of poverty and make the transition from agency-dependency to self-sufficiency. Lifeline’s current programming includes services in the healthcare, housing & energy assistance, information & referral services and consumer education & job training areas. Our motto is ‘helping people, changing lives.’ Lifeline is currently funded by the UWLC and by grants through the ODSA, the Lake County Board of Commissioners, the Lake County ADAMHS Board, Lake County Department of Job & Family Services, the City of Mentor, the Western Reserve Junior Service League and through private donors.