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Additional VITA new volunteer sessions added for December
December 4, 2019

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Approximately 30 new volunteers have completed the new volunteer training at Florida Gulf Coast University to participate in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program this year.

United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee Volunteer Engagement Manager Mary Meador said the volunteers, who are excited to be part of the program, now have to review the material and practice using the software at home to take their certification test.

"They have all the tools they need to do it and I am but a phone call away for guidance," she explained.

There are two more VITA new volunteer training sessions being held at Florida Gulf Coast University on Dec. 7 and Dec. 18, with plenty of seats still open for volunteers. Volunteers include tax preparers, interpreters and greeters. There is also a need for bilingual Spanish speaker volunteers.

To register, visit www.unitedwaylee.org/become-vita-volunteer/, or contact Meador at MaryM@UnitedWayLee.org, or call 239-433-7206 for more information.

The volunteer training is a seven hour class to help volunteers learn how to access and use software and complete a few returns together.

When they are IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers, the VITA sites are able to provide free tax preparation to both individuals and families that earn less than $66,000 per year.

Volunteers are needed from January through April. The program runs for eleven and a half weeks in Lehigh, starting the week of Jan. 27 and running through April 15.

"As of now we have 99 new volunteers that have registered and we hope they will all complete the training, but not all of them do," Meador said. "We are still recruiting because the more volunteers we have the more people we can help. We also have two, maybe three new sites this year and plenty of room to grow. There is a large population of low-income working families we want to be able to help to ensure they get all the credits they deserve, like Earned Income Tax Credit, education credits, child tax credits and dependent care credits. Plus we want to save people from spending their hard earned dollars on tax preparation fees and refund anticipation load fees and interest."

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