The Lowcountry Area VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Coalition provides FREE tax preparation throughout in-person sites, drop off options, and a virtual program serving four Lowcountry Counties, including Beaufort, Jasper, Colleton and Bamberg.
VITA is a national program provided by the IRS for over 50 years and is operated at a local level. Our local VITA Coalition was formed in 2008, representing a partnership with the IRS, United Way of the Lowcountry, Beaufort Country government, partner organizations, sponsors, and of course, volunteers. VITA is and continues to remain an important, essential service to thousands of hard-working and retired individuals and families, persons with disabilities, those aged 60 or above, and limited English-speaking taxpayers.
Since 2009 VITA has helped over 18,000 Lowcountry households and contributed over $40 million to the local economy.
VITA does not exist without VOLUNTEERS because it is the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program! Here are just a few things that our volunteers have shared about their experiences:
“I think my brain feels better when I am using it with something like preparing taxes and working with the clients! I love to read, solve problems and learn new things. It feels so good to do something useful and I STILL have time for yoga, cards, and parties!” Barbara Kenney
A favorite VITA memory a client who had evacuated from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. She was down and discouraged, having left everything behind. She received a considerable tax refund because of the earned income credit which she never expected! Her eyes filled with tears and her hope for the future was strengthened. Situations like these are why VITA is my favorite volunteer activity!” Donnita Whittier
“The best part of VITA is working with a great group of dedicated volunteers and the folks we help through the tax filing process. During my commercial experience, I often had clients who were less than grateful when the saw much of their refunds taken by the fees charged. The folks we serve at our VITA sites are very grateful and their appreciation “makes my day.” It’s a win-win situation.” Timothy Doyle
“I’m a winter resident of Beaufort, from Illinois. It’s hard to make friends, even in friendly Beaufort, when you keep leaving every year. For the last 12 winters, I’ve had something worthwhile to do, with great people, who are glad to see me every year when I get there and sorry to see me go. It’s important. VITA. It’s important.” Martha Everman
“I believe it’s unfortunate that our tax reporting system is so complex that it requires everyday people to pay nearly $300 to get their taxes prepared! I volunteer so VITA clients can keep that money in their pockets. And I just enjoy meeting them all of them as well.” Harry Silletti
“I want to volunteer, and I found that doing taxes is something I enjoy doing. At the end of the day I feel great, and I had a chance to help someone along the way.” Ed Kempf
“VITA has been a very rewarding experience for me to help those in the community complete their tax returns. The clients are all so wonderful and grateful for our services. I also enjoy working with and learning from my fellow VITA volunteers.” Jerry Lewis
Volunteers make a difference in the lives of Lowcountry residents. No experience is required, training is provided, and there are also several opportunities that do not involve preparing taxes. We need volunteers to serve as:
- Tax Preparers
- Financial Literacy Educators
- Site Coordinators
- Outreach Specialists
VITA offers a flexible schedule including weekdays, evenings, and weekends. Please visit www.vitalowcountry.org or call 843-321-9071 for more information about our local Lowcountry Area VITA Coalition. Additional information can also be found at https://www.irs.gov/individuals/irs-tax-volunteers.