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VITA Volunteers Perform Tax Refund Magic

vita-volunteer-recruitment_0049-392x304Could you turn $16 into $1,300? You might if you were a volunteer at one of the United Way VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) centers opening Jan.17 to help low-income working families get the most tax refunds possible.

One VITA center helped a couple who were supporting their daughter, a full-time college student who worked part-time and had substantial college expenses. The couple learned they could claim their daughter as a dependent and qualify for an education credit, which boosted their tax refund from $16 to $1,300. That’s tax refund magic!

United Way is looking for more than 400 volunteers to help meet the demand of VITA free tax centers in 2017. Here’s how you can get involved:
Welcome taxpayers and oversee sign-in.
Ensure families are directed to correct areas.
Provide free interpretation and translation services to customers who are not fluent in English or may need assistance.
Complete training for interpreters.
Greet and screen all taxpayers to ensure that they have necessary information and documentation required to complete tax return.
Explain the VITA packet to each taxpayer, assist them in completing information.
Attend a one-hour training session.
Participate in IRS tax training and complete certification.
Prepare simple tax returns.

Since 2010, local VITA volunteers have helped generate $58 million in tax refunds, including $22.4 million in Earned Income Tax Credits. The average tax refund for a family is $1,672—a considerable amount considering that the average family income of VITA customers is about $19,000 to $20,000.

VITA centers are possible only because of VITA volunteers. Training is provided. Sign up to volunteer today at