Volunteer Tax Income Assistance program looking for volunteer help

Why not give the gift of time this holiday season? The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program that helps local moderate to low-income families file their taxes for free is looking for volunteers.

The program is led by the City of San Antonio, United Way of San Antonio & Bexar County, Catholic Charities of San Antonio, Inc. and partners with the Alamo City Coalition for Economic Self-Sufficiency (A.C.C.E.S.S.).

The program needs at least 500 dedicated volunteers to register as tax preparers and intake and greeters beginning now and throughout the upcoming federal income tax filing season in early 2012.

VITA locations offer free tax assistance preparation to area families and individuals earning up to $55,000 at multiple locations throughout San Antonio from January 18 through April 17.

“VITA’s volunteers save our taxpayers millions in paid preparer fees each year,” City of San Antonio Department of Human Services Director Gloria Hurtado said in a news release. “That means hundreds of dollars which each family can use to pay bills, provide for their child’s education, or save toward an important purchase such as a home or vehicle.”

Last year, VITA volunteers helped families save more than $8.6 million in tax preparation fees when they filed more than 37,000 tax returns, recovering more than $72 million in refunds and credits for San Antonio families, including more than $38 million in Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit refunds.

Training and volunteer certification are offered free of charge, sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). No tax preparation or accounting experience is required.

Information about volunteering for VITA is online, www.vitasa.org or via phone (210) 222-2975 or email, volunteer@vitasa.org.