Lowcountry Area Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is a national program, staffed by local volunteers to provide free preparation and electronic filing of income tax returns. It is an important service to thousands of individuals and families in our area with low-to-moderate incomes who are eligible for tax credits. Since 2009 VITA has helped 14,000 Lowcountry households and contributed more than $30 million to the local economy.
The VITA Coalition was formed in 2008, representing a partnership between the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), United Way of the Lowcountry, Beaufort County government, numerous sponsors, partner organizations, and volunteers.
Volunteers can make a difference in the lives of Lowcountry residents. No experience is required and there are opportunities that do not involve preparing taxes. We need volunteers to serve as:
- Tax Preparers
- Financial Literacy Educators
- Site Coordinators
- Outreach Specialists
A commitment of four hours per week is required during tax season, which will begin January 23 and end April 15, 2017. There will be at least 17 VITA sites located throughout Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton, Colleton, Allendale, Barnwell, and Bamberg counties. VITA offers a flexible schedule including weekdays, evenings, and weekends.
Partner Organizations Needed
Organizations can partner with VITA and make a difference in the lives of Lowcountry residents by:
- Posting flyers advertising free income tax preparation
- Including a link to MyFreeTaxes (free online tax preparation) on your website AND promoting it
- Encouraging your members, staff, and volunteers to participate in the VITA program
- Allowing the Coalition to use your facility as a tax preparation site
- Enabling your staff to become certified and to prepare tax returns during and/or after hours
Those interested in volunteering should go to https://www.irs.gov/individuals/irs-tax-volunteers to learn more about VITA and volunteer training requirements. All volunteers must be trained and certified. Next, those interested should contact our local VITA program to get started.