PHOENIX — The Five County Association of Governments Coalition, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program and the IRS are seeking community volunteers across Utah and especially in Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane and Washington counties, Utah, to provide free tax assistance to those who need help filing their taxes.
Who volunteers? People of all ages and backgrounds.
VITA volunteers serve in a variety of roles. Volunteers help electronically file tax returns, greet taxpayers and help organize their paperwork, set up and keep running computer equipment used to electronically file tax returns, manage the tax site and do quality review.
“VITA needs fellow Utahns all across the state and at this time, from St. George and Hurricane and nearby communities such as Kanab, Panguitch, Cedar City and Beaver,” IRS spokesperson Leland Smith said. “We are looking for area volunteers who are interested in taking a little time to learn about taxes and then helping others by preparing federal and state income tax returns for free. Volunteers are certified to prepare simple, nonbusiness tax returns for people with low to moderate incomes. People of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to volunteer. There is a role for anyone who is interested, anyone who wants to help and give back to their community.”
Free training will be scheduled for the December-January time frame. The instruction and training materials cover how to prepare basic individual income tax returns, both federal and state and how to file them electronically.
Volunteer hours are flexible. Volunteers work at the free tax help sites in community centers, libraries, schools and other similar places.
During the past tax season, VITA volunteers in the Five County Association of Governments Coalition prepared and electronically filed 3,083 federal returns, which resulted in $4.5 million in tax refunds and $1.2 million of earned income tax credit being claimed. In Utah statewide, 854 VITA volunteers prepared 20,969 federal returns resulting in $24.2 million in tax refunds and $8.34 million in earned income tax credit being claimed.