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 2019 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 the five county area of Lee, Hendry, Glades, Okeechobee, and Charlotte 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.

“Volunteers are the key to the success of the United Way VITA program. VITA volunteers not only make a financial but social impact in the lives of people in our community,” said Jeannine Joy, President of United Way. “So many of our volunteers return year after year because of the rewarding experience and the gratitude of the clients.”

Last year, 187 volunteers helped file more than 5,500 federal tax returns, bringing over $7.4 million 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 $1.4 million.

Join us for an orientation and training class for new volunteers, November 16 at Florida Gulf Coast University. For tax professionals or experienced volunteers, an online training and certification tool is also available.  Simply register online at https://www.unitedwaylee.org/become-vita-volunteer/, or contact Patrice Cunningham at Patrice@UnitedWayLee.org 239.433.7206 for additional information.

The United Way Volunteer Center connects individuals and companies to volunteer opportunities throughout our community. You can reach the United Way Volunteer Center by calling (239) 433-7567, or by visiting the United Way website at www.UnitedWayLee.org/Volunteer.