VITA Volunteers Are Needed
Pictured VITA volunteer getting ready to assist with a return.
JAMESTOWN, NY - - The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs need community volunteers across Southern Chautauqua County to provide free tax assistance to those who need help in filing their taxes.
Who volunteers? People like you. VITA and TCE volunteers serve in a variety of roles. Neighborhood volunteers are needed to electronically file federal income tax returns, greet taxpayers and help organize their paperwork, set up and keep computer equipment running, manage tax sites and handle quality control. Volunteer opportunities may be in-person and or virtual.
Last year UWAYSCC had twenty VITA and TCE volunteers who prepared tax returns for free, bringing $774,874 in refunds back to the community.
“For over fifty years, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs have provided an important service across the country. We need more community volunteers to continue the good work. Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds are welcome. Neighborhood volunteers who are interested in learning about taxes and then helping others by preparing income tax returns for free are needed,” said Julie Dahlin, VITA Coordinator. “All volunteers preparing returns are IRS-certified to complete tax returns for people with low to moderate incomes, senior citizens, disabled individuals and for people for whom English is a second language. There is a volunteer role for anyone who is interested, anyone who wants to help and give back to their community.”
Free training is available online with classroom-style instruction generally offered between November and January. The instruction and training materials cover how to prepare individual income tax returns and how to file them electronically. Since it can be helpful to go through the VITA/TCE training and volunteer process with friends or coworkers, volunteers are encouraged to “inVITA” friend to join them. All safety protocols will be enforced to ensure all volunteers and clients remain healthy and safe given the current pandemic.
Volunteer hours are flexible and the free tax help sites are located throughout Chautauqua County.
It only takes a few minutes to become a TCE or VITA community tax volunteer. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 716-483-1561 for questions about becoming a volunteer. It’s that simple!
About United Way of Southern Chautauqua County
United Way of Southern Chautauqua County fights for the Academic Success, Health & Independence, Work Readiness, and Self Sufficiency of every person in our local community. Our human and financial services invest more than $1 million annually in 39 local programs to create sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our community. Our partners include local businesses, non-profits, government, civic, faith-based organizations, along with educators, labor leaders, health providers, senior citizens, students and more. One hundred percent of all donations remain in Southern Chautauqua County. For more information, visit uwayscc.org. Follow us on Facebook @uwayscc, Twitter @wayscc, Instagram @united_way_scc, #UWAYSCC #LiveUnited