For the fifth year, United Way of Porter County will be hosting the United Way Regional Volunteer Center’s VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program.
Informational meetings for VITA volunteers will be held on Monday, Nov. 10 at 8am, 10am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm in Community Room A at United Way of Porter County, 951 Eastport Centre Dr. (across and past Ivy Tech’s Valparaiso Campus). The meetings are for newly-interested potential volunteers who would like to find out more about the program, its on-line study course, certification requirements and time commitments.
VITA offers free tax preparation, e-filing and financial education for low to moderate-income taxpayers living in Porter and LaPorte County. VITA volunteers help community members prepare and electronically file federal and state taxes.
All training and materials are free and will be accomplished both online and with in-person training at the United Way office in Valparaiso. During the approximate 75-day tax preparation period, certified volunteers are asked to contribute any hours they can.
Sharon Kish, United Way of Porter County President said, “More than 500 taxpayers were helped this past year, all because volunteers were willing to do the program. The more volunteers we have, the more returns can be done.”
“Last year, 11 volunteers prepared 538 federal returns,” said George Kuebler, VITA Site Supervisor. “With additional volunteers, more people will be able to take advantage of the free service. And, you don’t need prior experience. Volunteers receive free specialized training and can serve in a variety of roles.”
The certification requirements for the 2014 tax year have been streamlined by the IRS. Training courses have been reduced to two: Basic and Advanced. For new preparers, only the Basic course completion is necessary. Returning volunteers will be able to take only the Advanced program to be certified for most of the tax preparation requirements that fall within the scope of the entire VITA program.
For more information and to register for the meeting, call George Kuebler at (219) 464-3583 x128.