United Way Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program Seeking Volunteers

LaBelle  – The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee is seeking volunteer tax preparers, interpreters, and greeters to help our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites during the 2018 tax season. With the support of trained, IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers, VITA sites provide free tax preparation to individuals and families earning less than $66,000 per year throughout, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee counties.

 

Volunteers of all ages and levels of experience are welcome, though all volunteers need to be comfortable working with a computer. There is a special need for bilingual Spanish speakers. Flexible hours are available January through April. Volunteers will receive specialized IRS certified training including learning how to prepare basic tax returns, using online tax preparation software, and learning about tax deductions and earned income tax credits that benefit eligible taxpayers. In addition, experienced agents, certified financial planners, and non-credentialed tax return preparers can earn continuing education credits when volunteering as a VITA tax preparer.

 

“For the past eleven years, VITA volunteers have made a real difference in the lives of people in our community,” said Cliff Smith, President of United Way. “Volunteers who come back year after year tell us the VITA program is very rewarding because they connect with members of our community and empower families to achieve economic success.”

 

Last year, 10 volunteers helped file more than 312 federal tax returns, bringing over $592,800 dollars in federal tax refunds back to the local community through the United Way VITA program. In addition, United Way VITA clients saved the cost of tax preparation by a commercial service which totaled over $78,000.

 

An orientation and training class for new volunteers will be offered December 1st at our United Way LaBelle House. For tax professionals or experienced volunteers, an online training and certification tool is available.  Interested parties can register online at https://www.unitedwaylee.org/become-vita-volunteer/, contact Mary Meador at MaryM@UnitedWayLee.org or call 239.433.7567.

The Caloosa Belle is published every Thursday.

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