United Way of Denton County is in search of volunteers to help provide free tax preparation for local families.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, created by the IRS and implemented locally by United Way of Denton County since 2008, helps thousands of hard-working households file their federal income taxes accurately, on time, and for free, according to a UWDC news release. United Way of Denton County needs approximately 100 volunteers who can commit at least three hours per week, from late January to mid-April to prepare returns for families who earn up to $60,000. No prior experience is required as training and IRS certification are provided.
“We are ready to get this program back to where we were pre-pandemic when more than $2 million of income tax refunds were returned to Denton County taxpayers via our VITA volunteers,” said Gary Henderson, United Way of Denton County President & CEO. “For one in three Denton County households, their income falls below the survival threshold. Many of these households struggling financially will qualify for VITA assistance. As a community it is in all our best interests for these neighbors to financially benefit fully from IRS Earned Income Tax Credits and in many cases Child Tax Credits. Through the generous gift volunteerism, the VITA program boasts one of the highest returns on investment of any nonprofit program and ensures financially fragile households maximize their tax refunds.”
According to the National Society of Accountants, Texans pay an average of $271 to tax preparers. The IRS estimates that over $15 million is left on the table by VITA-eligible Denton County taxpayers every year. Training for the VITA program will begin in November. Individuals can help their neighbors by training to become tax preparers, intake greeters who verify documents and screen for tax issues, and/or translators for non-English speakers.
Several VITA locations will be set up throughout Denton County with sites open from the end of January until April 18, 2023.
For more information and to sign up, go to www.unitedwaydenton.org/VITA/Volunteer.