Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
Sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), VITA provides free income tax preparation assistance to individuals and families with a combined household income of $60,000 or less a year. In addition to providing free tax preparation, VITA works to ensure everyone in the community receives all of the tax credits and deductions for which they are eligible. VITA sites are open annually from February to mid-April.
Many in our community don't have access to affordable tax preparation services or are unaware of programs like Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that could put thousands of dollars back in their hands and into our local economy. VITA helps taxpayers obtain eligible tax credits and deductions, especially EITC, Child Tax Credit, Education Tax Credits and Child Care tax deductions. Anyone who files a basic tax return can have taxes prepared at one of the VITA sites.
With this growing coalition, including faith-based, public and private organizations, our goal is to help more individuals and families achieve greater financial stability with our free tax preparation services.
Call 2-1-1 to schedule your FREE tax appointment today!
Be a VITA Volunteer
Click here for a volunteer packet
Great volunteers are the key to our success. Last year alone, 20 community volunteers completed 363 returns, returning $677,297 in refunds, $131,235 in Earned Income Credit, $61,507 in Child Tax Credit, and a savings of $72,600 in tax preparation fees. To join this year's effort and help make a difference in our community, call Hayley Bryan at 864-340-9286.
No experience is necessary to volunteer. All volunteers will receive training and become IRS certified tax preparers for free. We are currently seeking volunteers for the following positions:
- Volunteer Tax Preparers help individuals and families prepare their tax returns and ensure all eligible taxpayers receive their qualifying tax credits.
- Volunteer Greeters/Screeners welcome VITA participants to the site and ensure that they are prepared with all required documentation to meet with the tax preparer.
- Volunteer Site Coordinators manage the operations of the United Way VITA site, including volunteer staff and quality control.
Tax Preparer Training
United Way VITA Collaborative has developed a training model that provides a supportive learning environment where you will excel. We can provide three different training methods: classroom style instruction, independent study or one-on-one support. If you are not able to attend any of these methods, you can always ask questions by phone or email.
As a VITA volunteer, you will receive:
- Professional tax and software training
- Flexible volunteer hours - daytime, evenings or weekends
- The satisfaction of helping others in our community
Benefits of Volunteering
- Gain a valuable and marketable skill
- Make new friends! This is a great opportunity to meet other people in our community who are dedicated to helping others.
- Satisfaction of knowing that you had a direct impact on our community. Imagine helping someone put food on the table or saving someone from a mortgage foreclosure. As a VITA volunteer, you will help individuals and families keep their hard-earned money.
- The IRS certification counts toward continuing education for accountants and financial managers, and would be excellent experience for students seeking experience in working with the public or in the business and financial sector.