Free Tax Preparation Helps More than 6,000 Families.
United Way of Northwest Louisiana, in partnership with the IRS, reported that 6,279 households in Northwest Louisiana benefitted from the Volunteer Tax Assistance Program (VITA) during the recent tax season. Filings resulted in $8.4 million in refunds to local residents, up six percent from the previous year.
The VITA Program allows any household of one or more persons, with a total income of $54,000 or less to have their tax returns prepared by certifi ed volunteers free of charge. Eleven VITA sites operated throughout Caddo, Bossier, Webster and Natchitoches Parish. The free service saved local taxpayers an estimated $1.5 million in tax-preparation fees, assuming tax-fi ling companies charge an average of $250 per return.
Caddo and Bossier Parish: 5,645 returns prepared = $7.6 million returned back to the community; $1,411,250 saved in preparation fees.
Natchitoches Parish: 213 returns prepared = $264,076 returned back to the community; $53,250 saved in tax preparation fees.
Webster Parish: 421 returns prepared = $521,777 returned back to the community; $105,250 saved in tax preparation fees. “VITA is imperative to helping ALICE families become more fi nancially stable,” said Rashida Dawson, fi nancial stability program director at UWNWLA. “We look forward to providing this service to the Northwest Louisiana community each year.”
A critical component of this program is the volunteers who to help execute VITA. If you are interested in learning more about this volunteer opportunity, contact Jennifer Horton at 318-677-2504 or firstname.lastname@example.org.