In order to help local residents keep more of their hard earned money, United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee provides free tax filing services. The free VITA service (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) is available at 13 sites in Lee, Hendry, and Charlotte Counties to individuals and families making less than $60,000 per year.
United Way’s Free Tax Preparation program helps low- to moderate-income households meet their basic needs and build financial assets. Residents who earn a household income of $60,000 or less can have their federal tax returns prepared, e-filed and direct deposited for free by United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. United Way IRS-certified volunteers who are passionate about taxes will prepare the return and determine if the tax-payer is eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and/or Childcare Credits.
Last year, 3,500 individuals and families were able to utilize the earned income tax credit and other available credits through free tax preparation resulting in $4.6 million coming back to our five-county region and saving an average of $200 per family in tax preparation fees. More than 120 volunteers will be staffing the sites this year.
United Way VITA services began January 24 and will continue through April 18. To schedule an appointment, call United Way 211 by dialing 2-1-1 or 239-433-3900.