United Way VITA program concludes extended tax season

Posted 8/22/20

LABELLE — Despite having to temporarily suspend services due to COVID-19, United Way of Hendry and Glades’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program has concluded its 2019 tax season with …

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United Way VITA program concludes extended tax season

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LABELLE — Despite having to temporarily suspend services due to COVID-19, United Way of Hendry and Glades’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program has concluded its 2019 tax season with great results, bringing over $289,626 in federal tax refunds back to the local community. Nine volunteers helped file more than 200 federal tax returns free for local residents.

The VITA program serves households earning $66,000 or less by preparing and e-filing their federal tax returns. United Way’s IRS certified volunteers help determine if clients are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), education and/or child care credits when they file.

United Way’s VITA program is not just a one-time transactional activity as this initiative aims to connect taxpayers to other asset building resources such as savings tools and financial education opportunities.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
A volunteer interviews a tax client carside.

For those who still need to file their 2019 tax return, United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee has four year-round VITA sites located in Estero-San Carlos, LaBelle, Lehigh Acres and Fort Myers to help. All sites operate by appointment only. Appointments can be made by calling 239-433-3900 or by visiting https://www.unitedwaylee.org/freetaxprep/. For those who prefer to file on their own, they can do so free of charge at MyFreeTaxes.com if their household income is under $66,000.

United Way will be recruiting volunteers to serve as tax preparers, greeters and interpreters for the 2020 tax year over the next few months. Volunteers will complete free online tax preparation training and certification using the TaxSlayer software. To join the VITA team, visit https://www.unitedwaylee.org/become-vita-volunteer or call 239-433-7567.

People in need of information and referral assistance to health and human services should contact United Way 211. Simply dial 2-1-1, or 800-887-9234, or visit the United Way website at www.UnitedWayLee.org.

taxes, vitas

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