13 Jan Lowcountry Area VITA Coalition Kicks Off Free Tax Filing Services in February
Lowcountry Area VITA Coalition Kicks Off Free Tax Filing Services in February
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program is gearing up to provide free, IRS-certified tax return preparation for Lowcountry residents.
VITA, a collaboration with the IRS, Beaufort County Human Services Alliance and United Way of the Lowcountry (UWLC), will kick off its popular tax filing support program beginning the first week in February.
Staffed by local volunteers, VITA provides free preparation and electronic filing of income tax returns for individuals and families with low-to-moderate incomes who are eligible for tax credits. Last tax season, VITA helped file more than 2,400 free tax returns in Beaufort and Jasper Counties – generating more than $4 million in economic impact.
“Most people won’t think about income taxes for another couple of months. But low-income families are already counting the days until they can file,” said UWLC President and CEO Dale Douthat. “VITA helps Lowcountry residents maximize tax refunds that can help pay for necessities, like food and rent, or provide a much-needed cushion in the event of an emergency.”
VITA’s free preparation sites will be open February through April at 10 locations throughout Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Colleton and Jasper counties. The sites include Voorhees College in Bamberg County and Blackville Community Development Corporation in Barnwell County; the Beaufort, Bluffton, Lobeco and St. Helena public libraries and The Deep Well Project in Beaufort County; Lowcountry Community Action Agency in Colleton County; and the Hardeeville and Ridgeland public libraries in Jasper County.
Taxpayers eligible for VITA services include people with annual incomes of less than $57,000; anyone with a physical disability; non-English-speaking citizens; and people older than 60. In addition to electronic filing for quick deposit of returns, VITA volunteers can inform taxpayers about special tax credits for which they may qualify, such as earned income tax credit, child tax credit, and credit for the elderly or the disabled.
Masks will be required at all locations, and COVID-19 health and safety precautions will be taken to prevent the spread of illness.
For more information about VITA services, site locations, dates, times and required documents, visit: www.vitalowcountry.org.
About United Way of the Lowcountry
Since the 1950s, United Way of the Lowcountry has been working to create a better life for the residents of Beaufort and Jasper counties. Our focus is on protecting services vital to the immediate basic needs of the most vulnerable members of our community; while making long term investments in education, economic mobility and health, because these are the building blocks for a good quality of life. We bring together people and organizations from all across the Lowcountry who bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done. Each year, United Way raises funds through our annual campaign, special events and grants. Just as funds are raised locally, United Way funds stay local. Learn how you can be a part of United Way at www.uwlowcountry.org.