VITA volunteers sought for upcoming tax season | News, Sports, Jobs

It’s that time of year when the United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades is seeking Volunteer Income Tax Assistance volunteers to help with the upcoming tax season.

Volunteers sought include tax preparers, greeters and bilingual Spanish speaking interpreters. Although volunteers of all levels of experiences, and ages are welcome, it is preferred that they are comfortable using a computer.

Experienced agents and certified financial planners, as well as non-credentialed tax return preparers have an opportunity to earn continuing education credits when they are a VITA tax preparer volunteer.

This year, Volunteer Engagement and VITA Program Manager Meador is seeking 20 volunteers for Cape Coral and North Fort Myers and 35 to 40 volunteers for Lehigh Acres. Last year she had 15 volunteers in Cape Coral, 10 volunteers in North Fort Myers and 27 volunteers in Lehigh Acres.

VITA services are offered for individuals and families earning less than $66,000 per year.

Meador said the first orientation and training is Saturday, Nov. 19, at Florida Gulf Coast University. There are also online orientation and training offered.

“Volunteers can easily learn from home at their own pace and attend weekly online drop-in sessions for help/questions as needed,” she said. “I also offer in-person and online scenario training that cover various topics and run November through January. All classes are optional.”

Everything needed to become certified, such as tools, resources and presentations can be found on the training website.

The training includes learning how to prepare basic tax returns, using online tax preparation software, as well as learning about tax credits and deductions that benefit the eligible taxpayer.

The tax season is expected to start Jan. 23 and run through April 18, 2023.

VITA is offered at multiple locations, including Waters Edge and Cross Point Church in Cape Coral, as well as the Health Department in North Fort Myers. There are also services offered at Lehigh Community Services and Goodwill in Lehigh Acres.

“Last year we visited Suncoast Community a couple of times to provide services there as well. I am looking to start a small program for veterans at the VA hospital, and at Oile, aka Healing Stitches, an agency dedicated to helping Latinos,” Meador said.

To register visit https://unitedwaylee.org/vita-volunteer/, or contact Meador at

[email protected] or (239) 433-7206.

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