It’s Tax Time: United Way Kicks off Annual Free Tax Preparation Service
Local nonprofit will offer both in-person and virtual tax preparation services in 2021
RICHMOND, Va. (Feb. 8, 2021) – With an April 15 tax-filing deadline just 10 weeks away, United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program officially begins this week. The free tax preparation service is offered to area families with household incomes of less than $56,000.
In its 18th year of operation, United Way’s VITA program will utilize a combination of tax sites across Richmond, Goochland, Chesterfield, Henrico and Charles City as well as online tax preparation services. Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person tax sites will operate by appointment only, and spaces may be limited. Sites will follow social distancing guidelines and require masks, and hours of operation are subject to change. An up-to-date list of locations and hours is available at www.YourUnitedWay.org/tax/sites.
For online preparation services, United Way will utilize 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.
“With tax season upon us and financial uncertainty due to the pandemic still a reality for many in the region, it is more important than ever for households to be able to plan for what they might owe or have coming back to them,” said James Taylor, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg. “Our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program is an impactful service that we provide every year. This year’s blend of in-person and virtual options will allow us to meet this challenging moment and help thousands of local families work toward financial stability.”
In 2020, local United Way volunteers helped secure $2.8 million in tax refunds for 2,790 households in the area. Families who took advantage of the service received a total of $790,000 in EITC funds from the IRS. The average household income for customers was $23,652.
You can find more information here.