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VITA prepares over $7.4 million in tax returns

By Staff | May 8, 2019

United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or VITA program concluded its 2018 tax season with tremendous results.

VITA volunteers assisted over 5,500 individuals and families who utilized the free service and received approximately $7.4 million in tax refunds and saved $1.6 million in tax preparation fees alone.

Low-to moderate-income households who earn $66,000 or less had their federal tax returns prepared, e-filed and direct deposited for free by IRS certified volunteers who helped determine if clients were eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, education and/or childcare credits when they filed. This year 187 volunteers were trained and certified in partnership with the IRS and assisted at over 31 locations, which included 11 United Way Houses and special events during the tax season.

In conjunction with F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva, VITA volunteers offered the service at the Walk-In Center on Feb. 1, Feb. 8, Feb. 15, Feb. 22, March 8, March 22 and April 5 for those eligible.

The United Way will recruit volunteers to serve as tax preparers, greeters and interpreters for the 2019 tax year over the next few months. Volunteers complete free classroom and online tax preparation training and certification using the TaxSlayer software. To join the VITA team, visit “http://www.unitedwaylee.org/become-vita-volunteer”>www.unitedwaylee.org/become-vita-volunteer.