– United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades is seeking volunteers for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program during the 2023 tax season. Volunteer tax preparers, greeters, and Bilingual-Spanish speaking interpreters are needed to provide no-cost tax preparation services at over 20 locations throughout SWFL for individuals and families earning less than $66,000 per year.
Volunteer tax preparers will receive IRS certified training including learning how to prepare basic tax returns, using online tax preparation software, and learning about tax credits and deductions that benefit eligible taxpayers. Volunteers of all ages and levels of experience are welcome, though it is preferred that volunteer tax preparers be comfortable working with a computer. 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.
The amount of federal refunds generated by United Way’s VITA program in Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Charlotte counties last season was over $10.8 million and, by providing no-cost tax preparation, our 170 certified volunteers were able to assist over 6,800 VITA clients this past tax season, saving them over $2.1 million in tax preparation fees by a commercial service—money that could then be used for food, daycare, medical, transportation, housing, utilities, and more.
The whole VITA program runs on volunteer power--volunteers who enjoy working with people and who want to help improve the quality of life for people in our community. We serve people who often cannot afford to pay someone to file their tax returns and do not feel comfortable or inclined to file their own. No experience is necessary -- just a willingness to help. Being a VITA volunteer is fun and rewarding. “The help we provide the community is priceless” says Carolyn Peplow VITA volunteer for the past 5 years, “volunteering is easy, and you can do as much as you feel comfortable with.”
Join the VITA program, flexible hours are available January through April every tax season. Online orientations and training classes for new volunteers begin in November. Small, in-person classes will be available as well. For tax professionals or experienced volunteers, an online training and certification tool is also available. Simply register online at https://unitedwaylee.org/vita-volunteer/, or contact Mary Meador at MaryM@UnitedWayLee.org 239.433.7206 for additional information.