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NEWS

Free Tax Centers Now Open

Last year 8,000 individuals and families received $13.4 million in tax refunds at United Way Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) centers. This month the free VITA centers have opened for another tax season to help more low- to moderate-income households claim all eligible refund dollars.

There are 16 Tarrant County VITA sites this year. Among them are four new centers, including sites in Mansfield and Bedford for the first time. Families either can wait while their taxes are done, or drop off their information and return a few days later to review and sign their returns.

The VITA centers are possible only because of the hundreds of volunteers who donate their time to be tax preparers, intake specialists, interpreters and greeters. IRS-certified training is provided.

Among those being trained to be tax preparers this year are students from Dallas Baptist University, Tarleton State University, Tarrant County College, Texas A&M Law School, Texas Christian University and the University of Texas at Arlington. More than 400 volunteers are needed for the entire tax season. You can sign up to volunteer at unitedwaytarrant.org/VITAVOLUNTEER.

Tax filers save hundreds of dollars in tax preparation fees by going to a VITA center. The VITA program is for individuals and families making $55,000 or less a year. More information is available by visiting unitedwaytarrant.org/VITA or dialing 211, United Way’s information and referral service.

United Way’s VITA partners are Catholic Charities Fort Worth, City of Arlington, City of Fort Worth, Compassionate Fort Worth, Foundation Communities and the Internal Revenue Service.