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Volunteers needed to help most vulnerable residents with tax preparation

The programs save Michiganders about $19.5M annually in tax preparation fees alone.
Volunteers needed to help most vulnerable residents with tax preparation services
Volunteers needed to help most vulnerable residents with tax preparation services(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 10:12 AM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Tuesday State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks made an urgent call for any eligible Michiganders to take part in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program ahead of the 2022 individual income tax season.

The program is an Internal Revenue Service (IRS)-sponsored program that provides free tax help to people who generally make $57,000 or less, those with disabilities, the elderly, and limited English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns.

“Recruitment of volunteers is vital every year, but this year’s needs are particularly pressing,” the department said in a release. “While COVID-19 has depleted the ranks of volunteers by nearly 70% at some community programs, the number of residents who need free tax preparation services continues to climb.”

Eubanks emphasized the chance volunteers have to make an impact.

“Becoming a VITA Volunteer is an opportunity to make a difference in your community,” State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said. “Tax prep can be stressful. Helping your neighbors through the VITA program provides high-impact help in a very meaningful and rewarding manner.”

Volunteer tax preparation helps Americans claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC), federal tax benefits that help workers care for their families, withstand unexpected economic changes, and reduce poverty.

The VITA programs save Michiganders about $19.5M annually in tax preparation fees alone.

No prior tax experience is required to become a volunteer. VITA tax volunteers will be assigned to work with a sponsoring organization. They will first receive training and then begin volunteering at a location that is convenient.

The training is offered both online and in a classroom. Generally, tax sites are open nights and weekends, and the hours are flexible, allowing volunteers to choose time slots that fit their schedules.

Individuals can sign up through the IRS.

For information on taxpayer assistance, click HERE.

Copyright 2021 WILX. All rights reserved.

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