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2024 RAISE Texas VITA Conference

Eighty-seven individuals from forty-six Texas VITA programs gathered on June 13-14 at the Federal Reserve Bank in Houston, to share best practices, challenges, and ideas. 

This year’s conference included a tour of the BakerRipley Tax Center in Houston, the country's largest VITA program (completing over 36,000 returns for the 2024 tax season).

Attendees where able to make new connections that many expressed will help with enhancing and supporting their own VITA programs.

2024 VITA Presentations (* = slides)

Building a Stronger Financial Future: How IRS Direct File and the Inflation Reduction Act Benefit Texans
Rebecca Thompson, Senior Advisor, IRA Program Office, U.S. Dept. of Treasury
Ronald Newman, Senior Advisor, IRA Program Office, U.S. Dept. of Treasury

Emerging Issues in Low Income Taxpayer Clinics*
Mandi Matlock, JD, Staff Attorney, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid

How Harris County Supports and Benefits from VITA
Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia

Skill-Building Sessions: 

Tax Credit Messaging: Pitching Strategies for Local VITA Funding and Peer Feedback*
Jenna Severson, Senior Communications Strategist, Economic Security Project

Mastering ITIN Applications: Everything You Need to Know* 
Janet Herrgesell, Certifying Acceptance Agent and Senior Tax Program Manager, Foundation Communities 

Wellness in the Trenches: Self-Care Strategies During Tax Season 
Nicole Milton, Training Manager, Mental Health America of Greater Houston 

Mastering Seasonal Staffing: Hiring & Internship Strategies* 
Ariel Carballo Jones, and Markitha Labbe, Talent Management, BakerRipley Raymond Nguyen, Director, BakerRipley Neighborhood Tax Centers


National Partner Forums:

TaxSlayer Q&A 
Kim Manuel, TaxSlayer

Code for America Research and Q&A (Get Your Refund)* 

Rae Pilarski, Associate Program Director

Jazmin Estrada, Partner Support Specialist

Tax Season Program Highlights:  

Del Mar College VITA Program*  
Adria Palacios Vasquez, CPA, Assistant Professor of Accounting

Dallas Community Tax Centers-QLess* 
Sofia Sanchez-Morales, Senior Program Manager, Foundation Communities

BakerRipley Neighborhood Tax Center Tour

About BakerRipley*

BakerRipley Neighborhood Tax Center Documents:

Volunteer Program*

Volunteer Handbook*

Client Intake Survey*

Client Intake Form*

Red Tracking Sheet*

Paper and In-Progress Blue Tracking Sheet*


Thank you to JPMorgan Chase for supporting RAISE Texas and our work to increase access to valuable tax credits and free tax preparation services.