United Way Vita Program Offers Free Federal Tax Return Preparation

Fort Myers, FL (January xx, 2021) – Southwest Florida residents can keep more of their hard earned money by using the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee free VITA tax filing assistance program. The VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program provides free federal tax filing services at 18 sites in Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Charlotte Counties to individuals and families making less than $66,000 per year.

IRS certified United Way VITA volunteers who are passionate about taxes will prepare the returns and determine if the taxpayers are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and/or Childcare Credits, while helping low-to moderate-income households meet their basic needs and build financial assets. 

Starting January 25, sites will offer either traditional face to face or drop off/ pick up appointments. Participants are required to wear face coverings during the visit and social distancing protocols have been implemented to ensure the safety of both the volunteers and clients.

To locate the most convenient VITA site and schedule an appointment with an IRS-certified volunteer to prepare your free tax return visit: Unitedwaylee.org/freetaxprep or call the United Way 211 Helpline by dialing 2-1-1 or 239.433.3900.  

Taxpayers who prefer a no contact option can e-file free of charge with MyFreeTaxes.com. It is simple, fast, and secure while offering online assistance with the process. 

Last year, 5,800 individuals and families were able to utilize the earned income tax credit and other available credits through the free VITA tax preparation program resulting in $8.3 million coming back to our five-county region while saving an average of $250 per family in tax preparation fees.

In addition, for those seniors who normally file with AARP Tax-Aide, the following sites will be preparing taxes by appointment only beginning in February. Individuals can make their appointments with AARP by calling the numbers listed by each site below.

  • AARP Tax-Aide – Cape Coral at Grace Church, call 941-500-3272
  • Fort Myers Tax-Aide is offering two sites –St. Columbkille Catholic Church and Pine Ridge Road VFW, Call 239-935-7826
  • North Fort Myers Tax-Aide –  North Fort Myers Recreation Center, appointments can be made in person at front desk or by calling (239) 533-7200.

The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee is a volunteer driven organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for all people in our community. This is accomplished through fundraising, fund distribution, community building, volunteer advancement, and information and referrals. For more information, please call United Way at (239) 433-2000 or visit UnitedWayLee.org.

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