Here to Help: United Way Kicks off Annual Free Tax Preparation Service
RICHMOND, Va. (Jan. 31, 2022) – With the April 18 tax-filing deadline just 11 weeks away, United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program officially begins this week.
In its 19th year of operation, United Way’s free tax preparation service is offered to area families with household incomes of less than $58,000. Because of the expanded Child Care Tax Credit and changes to the Earned Income Tax Credit, many households will be eligible for increased returns. This program will help low- and moderate-income families navigate the changes and maximize their tax refund.
“Tax season can be a make-or-break time of the year for families and individuals making less than $58,000,” said James Taylor, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg. “For nearly two decades, our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program has been one of our organization’s most impactful programs. We are ready for another busy tax season helping those in our community.”
The program will use a combination of 13 tax sites across Chesterfield, Charles City, Goochland, Henrico, Petersburg and Richmond as well as online tax preparation services. Sites will follow social distancing guidelines and require masks. Hours of operation are subject to change in order to comply with CDC guidelines. The in-person tax sites will operate by appointment only, and spaces may be limited. The participating tax sites are listed on United Way’s website.
For online preparation services, United Way will use a new secure web portal that allows participants to upload tax information, speak to IRS-certified tax preparers and receive help filing taxes online – all for free. Those using the service will need to upload photos of their ID cards and tax documents and answer questions about their tax situation. The service requires filers to have access to the internet and a camera through a smart phone, tablet or computer.
For the 2021 filing season, local United Way volunteers helped secure $2.3 million in tax refunds for 2,125 households in the area. Families who took advantage of the service received a total of $532,000 in EITC funds from the IRS. The average household income for customers was $24,623 indicating that United Way reached those in most need.
Find more information at https://www.yourunitedway.org/volunteer/vita/.