Volunteers can help families this tax season

United Way seeks volunteers to learn to prepare taxes across Southwest Virginia

Abingdon, VA (January 10, 2017) – United Way of Southwest Virginia is preparing for the upcoming tax season and needs community members to serve at the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites between February and April 2017. Volunteers that prepare taxes can help boost a family’s yearly income and have a direct impact on the lives of working families in Southwest Virginia.

Debby Loggans, Volunteer Center Manager at United Way of Southwest Virginia says, “According to the IRS, the average charge for a professional tax preparation is $261.  For many people in our region, that $261 goes a long way towards groceries, fuel, electricity and other household expenses. We are excited for the opportunity to help recruit volunteer tax preparers for VITA programs throughout the region. By volunteering, you can help more people in our region keep their hard-earned money.”

VITA offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. Volunteers are trained on tax law and software, and are then able to provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals at multiple VITA sites throughout Southwest Virginia – from Galax to Lebanon to Grundy. Trained volunteer preparers explain credits to clients such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and help individuals complete and electronically file their tax returns, all for free.

No experience is necessary. Volunteers who want to learn and do tax preparation will receive training on federal, state, and local tax law. Most of the training is online, self-paced, and takes approximately 30-40 hours. Volunteers are covered under the Volunteer Protection Act and are not accountable for tax returns filed to the IRS.

Loggans says this year, new volunteers will be eligible to receive a free Chromebook to use for tax preparation and keep after tax season.

To sign up to volunteer or for more information, visit www.netnswvarelief.wpengine.com/taxprepvolunteer, or contact Volunteer Center Manager, Debby Loggans, at dloggans@unitedwayswva.org or 276.525.4101. The deadline to sign up is February 28, 2017.

ABOUT UNITED WAY OF SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA
United Way of Southwest Virginia fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in Southwest Virginia by forging unlikely partnerships, finding new solutions to old problems, mobilizing the best resources, and inspiring individuals to create lasting change in the lives of over 350,000 residents from all walks of life. United Way of Southwest Virginia mobilizes thousands of people to give, advocate and volunteer across 5,860 square miles (approximately 15% of the state of Virginia) in the counties of Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Giles, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, and Wise, and the cities of Galax and Norton. For more information about United Way of Southwest Virginia, visit netnswvarelief.wpengine.com.