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Posted on: January 18, 2023

United Way of SWLA offering free tax prep program

VITA tax help

The following is from the United Way of Southwest Louisiana:


United Way of Southwest Louisiana's free tax initiative, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), is open for registration. Make appointments for any site by dialing 211. The caller will specify in-person prep or a drop-off and the location of choice for each parish.


United Way of Southwest Louisiana's IRS Certified volunteers supply free tax prep for individuals or families earning $67,000 or below in 2022. Designed for low-to-moderate-income individuals, persons with disabilities, senior citizens and limited English-speaking residents who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), VITA is responsible for returning over $4.8 million to the region each year.


"Almost 22% of families qualified to receive the EITC, and similar credits do not claim it," explains Denise Durel, president and CEO for United Way of Southwest Louisiana. "Our volunteers ensure everyone gets the credits they're entitled to while saving them from costly prep fees or refund anticipation loans."


Making an appointment for an in-person or drop-off must be done by dialing 211. Ten sites in the five-parish Southwest Louisiana region are open for appointments. An up-to-date list is maintained online at unitedwayswla.org/vita or by dialing 211. The waiting area at sites is for the tax client only, and no other guests are allowed inside due to pandemic restrictions. Appointments can also be made at this link: https://VITAUWSWLA.as.me/


To prepare your taxes through the VITA system without visiting a site, go online to unitedwayswla.org/vita and click the MYFREETAXES link.


VITA volunteers are trained by United Way of Southwest Louisiana and receive IRS Certification upon completing the program. Volunteers also run the sign-in and other positions at each site. Anyone interested in volunteering at a site near them can visit https://unitedwayswla.org/vitavolunteer.


Any organization, business, or agency willing to host a VITA site can contact United Way of Southwest Louisiana at 337-433-1088 ext. 210.