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United Way’s VITA Program returns for another season

VITA provides free basic tax return preparation for individuals making $56,000 or less, persons with disabilities, and limited-English speaking taxpayers
Mahoning Matters Spotlight Image_United Way_Feb 2021_UW VITA

The United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley is pleased to offer the VITA (volunteer income tax assistance) program again this year. A longstanding charitable initiative, VITA provides free basic tax return preparation for individuals making $56,000 or less, persons with disabilities, and limited-English speaking taxpayers.

“Our volunteers are all trained and IRS certified to complete accurate returns. The service is completely free with no filing fees, so taxpayers keep their entire return,” says Lita M. Wills, Director of Community Impact.

The program works even if the individual has not filed for a couple years. 

Wills explains, “We can do prior year returns; participants should indicate that when they make their appointment, and we can schedule extra time for them.”

VITA volunteers can be accessed at eight convenient locations, and each site has COVID protocols in place. Wills notes, “All sites require participants and volunteers to wear masks at all times and observe six feet of social distancing. Participants should be prepared to wait in their cars or return in 45 minutes to an hour to pick up the completed return (at most sites, unless otherwise directed). Our sites have a cap on the number of people allowed at one time, so appointments are staggered. All sites are disinfecting, masking, and using hand sanitizer as well.”

As an IRS VITA partner, the program also encourages the resource MyFreeTaxes.com to taxpayers who have access to a computer and feel comfortable filing on their own.

The program is actively seeking more volunteers. 
 
“We can utilize you even if you do not have tax experience,” says Wills. “We are able to train tax preparers, and volunteers are never without support. We can also use greeters to help taxpayers understand the process and complete their intake forms.”
 
If you are in the Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley area, fit the criteria listed above, and need help with your tax return paperwork this year, get in touch and use the VITA program. Volunteers are standing by to help you. 

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 330-540-1947 or 330-314-4379.

If you have been looking for a great opportunity to give back to the community, volunteering with VITA may be for you. To learn more about becoming a volunteer, click here.