United Way of Summit & Medina’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program seeks volunteers

Nov 16, 2022

United Way of Summit & Medina’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is seeking volunteers for the 2023 tax season. The program provides free tax preparation services to Summit and Medina County households with an annual income of less than $60,000.

VITA volunteers receive free, IRS-certified training. People with all levels of tax experience are welcome, and volunteers can choose among multiple roles – from greeter to tax preparer to site coordinator. Flexible scheduling, with morning and evening shifts, is available.

This year, United Way’s VITA program helped clients file nearly 2,000 tax returns. In total, local residents claimed more than $3 million in state and federal tax refunds thanks to the program. And because the average cost of commercial tax preparation services is more than $200, United Way estimates that it saved filers more than $400,000 this year alone.

“For a lot of families, especially those that qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, a tax refund can be a significant financial lifeline,” said Nicole Chavers, director of financial empowerment at United Way of Summit & Medina. “But tax regulations can be hard to understand, and too often, families don’t receive the full refund they’re entitled to. Our dedicated volunteers ensure that everyone who comes in gets a warm welcome and quality service.”

For many VITA clients, the program is an entry point to other services offered by United Way, such as free one-on-one financial coaching. As one of its Bold Goals for 2028, United Way is working to financially empower 11,000 people in Summit County and 2,500 people in Medina County.

“With inflation and the rising cost of living taking their toll on our community, programs like VITA that provide immediate financial relief are more important than ever,” said Jim Mullen, president and CEO of United Way of Summit & Medina. “Anyone who wants to make a real, positive impact on the lives of local individuals and families should consider becoming a VITA volunteer.”

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