VTLP was established in 1995 to help noncompliant taxpayers satisfy their IRS filing requirements. The President of ABDC, Gary Selk and the Director of the Alaska Division of Investments, Martin Richard, laid the foundation to help strengthen the rural economies and improve individual financial stability by tackling the noncompliance issue head on. Noncompliance created challenges for individuals with their personal and business financial situations, especially commercial fishermen who were unable to obtain financing because they were not current with the IRS.
During the filing season of 1996, the first VTLP teams traveled to seven communities and assisted 185 taxpayers with the preparation of their current year tax returns, assisting them in becoming compliant with the IRS and meeting a necessary financing requirement if the taxpayer was seeking financing to start or expand their business.
Today, VTLP travels to 80 villages and assists 50 additional communities through the Mail-in Site located at the Anchorage office. Nearly 5,000 returns are prepared and $7.0 million in refunds generated, having a direct effect on the local economies and helping individuals provide for their families. These amazing accomplishments are in part due to the dedicated program volunteers who give 4,700 hours of donated in-kind service. VTLP services are made possible to community residents by funding provided by program contributors including regional native corporations, regional nonprofit organizations, CDQ entities, tribal councils and city offices. General funding sources include the federal and state government, private foundations, Alaska based businesses and financial institutions.