An open house for VITA volunteers is being held on Thursday, Sept. 26 from 6-8pm at the United Way of St. Joseph County office, located at 3517 E. Jefferson Blvd. in South Bend. Anyone interested in volunteering through VITA for the upcoming tax season is encouraged to attend the open house.
The total number of taxes prepared and filed during the 2012-2013 tax season increased by 82% compared to the previous season. To keep up with the increased number of VITA clients being served, there is a strong need for volunteers to step forward for the upcoming tax season.
VITA volunteers are not required to have prior accounting experience but must complete and pass IRS ethics certification. VITA training is free and offered through United Way of St. Joseph County. During the tax season, volunteers are encouraged to commit a minimum of 40 hours from mid-January to mid-April.
There is a need for a variety of VITA volunteer positions, including interpreters, marketing & promotion support, financial information, kiosk operators, site coordinators, quality reviewers, tax preparers and greeters/screeners. For a complete list of jobs and descriptions, please visit http://uwsjc.org/
The taxpayers served through VITA sites are hard-working low to middle income families, disabled individuals, students and seniors. United Way and its partners volunteer for the VITA program to make sure every dollar of a taxpayer’s refund is available for them to support their families.
Helping individuals receive every credit they earned, including education credits, the Earned Income Tax Credit, state renters credit and property tax deduction, can mean hundreds of dollars to local families. Every earned income tax credit dollar coming back to the community not only raises families above the poverty level and they also generate an additional $.58 per dollar into the community.
The Earned Income Tax Credit returned over $28.2 million into the 5-county region in 2011 alone. These dollars help families pay bills, repair homes and vehicles, purchase necessities and are spent at local businesses. Volunteering to prepare tax returns and e-file them for free keeps families from paying for preparation and getting early return loans for their own money. United Way also offers financial education at each site.
Financial Stability Division is part of United Way of St. Joseph County’s Pro$perity Building Campaign. Through the Pro$perity Building Campaign, United Way is working to meet basic needs, build family support systems, increase income, build savings, and gain and sustain assets.
To become a VITA volunteer or for more information, please call Barbara Turner, Assistant Director of Labor & Financial Stability at UWSJC at (574) 232-8201, ext. 227 or email her at email@example.com.
United Way of St. Joseph County is a nonprofit organization working to advance the common good by focusing on education, income and health. It works closely with 57 local agency programs to meet the community needs of St. Joseph County.