VITA Program Helps With Tax Prep
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in Hastings, Nebraska, is offering free tax preparation for area residents. Volunteer preparers will meet with taxpayers to answer questions, prepare their returns for free, and can review federal and state returns prior to filing.
In-person clinics will be held Saturdays in February from 10am – 12pm at the Hastings Public Library and most Wednesday evenings in February from 6pm – 8pm at Central Community College in the Apple Room. No clinic will be available on February 14th. Individuals looking for assistance can sign up at vita.unl.edu/signup or walk-in any time during those hours.
The Hastings VITA program is organized by the Community Impact Network, in partnership with the United Way of South Central Nebraska, Central Community College and the Tax Clinic Alliance of Nebraska.
This is only the second year for the program in Hastings and organizers say the need is great.
“This program is vital to helping families in our community get all the tax credits and deductions they deserve,” said Brady Rhodes of the Community Impact Network. “That keeps more money in a family’s pocket to help make ends meet. Volunteers are essential to making this program work. People of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to volunteer.”
“The VITA program helps everyone, but this year we really want to spread the word to seniors in our community. Recently, AARP ended a program in this area focused on helping seniors with their taxes, and now some may be wondering where to turn. We want them to know we are here to help. And that’s another reason why we need more volunteers, so we can help more and more people. This is a great opportunity to provide a short-term service that makes a real difference with individuals and families.”
VITA sites can be found nationwide and prepare millions of tax returns each year for low- to moderate-income taxpayers at no cost. The program is generally for taxpayers with incomes of $64,000 or less. The free tax preparation program serves taxpayers of all types, including rural taxpayers, limited English speakers, disabled individuals and senior citizens.
No experience is necessary to become a VITA volunteer. Free specialized training is provided by the IRS through the Community Impact Network. Volunteers get in-classroom or online training on preparing simple tax returns. Bilingual volunteers are particularly needed. Volunteers are asked to spend a minimum of three to four hours per week volunteering from February through April. Training is currently underway for the upcoming tax season.
Available positions go beyond tax preparation and include:
People interested in volunteering can call United Way at 402-461-8412.
Hear an interview with Brady Rhodes and Allie Trautman on the program
VITA Program 2/7/24