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Meet Mike: A Beacon of Hope in Tax Season

Wednesday, November 1, 2023
VITA Volunteer Mike Nguyen

When tax season rolls around each year, most people brace themselves for the inevitable stress and confusion that often come with filing their taxes. However, in Tarrant County, a dedicated volunteer is making this season a little brighter for low-income individuals and families. 

For the past seven years, Mike Nguyen has taken time out of his busy schedule as a full-time engineer, husband and father to give back to his community in Haltom City, volunteering for UWTC's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA).  

VITA provides free income tax preparation to households with incomes of $64,000 or less at centers across Tarrant County. Over the past 13 years, VITA volunteers processed over 80,000 returns, resulting in over $149 million in tax refunds for local families. Add a footnote indicating that the minimum income has been raised to $64,000 this year. 

For Mike, it’s not just about crunching numbers and filling out forms; it's about making a tangible difference in the lives of those who may not have the resources to navigate the complex world of taxes. Fluent in both English and Vietnamese, Mike helps VITA clients understand the entire filing process and helps build trust with those weary of the free help. 

"There are a lot of regulations, and we talk to them in plain English or plain Vietnamese so they can remember it when they leave."

Over the years, Mike has witnessed many heartwarming moments. One that stands out is when an elderly couple received a $600 refund, which brought them to tears of joy. Mike realized that this unexpected refund significantly impacted their lives, and it reminded him of the importance of his work.

Mike's impact extends beyond just the numbers on a tax return. He believes in the transformative power of the VITA program and the relief it provides to those who need it most. 

"I feel very blessed in helping people," said Mike.

Mike's story is a testament to the power of volunteering and the difference one can make in their community. 

Join Mike and our VITA volunteers to improve a local families’ quality of life. Our volunteer opportunities include bilingual greeters, interpreters, intake specialists and tax preparers. With many tax sites spread throughout Tarrant County, you're sure to find a location near you: