Free tax return preparation available to area residents | News, Sports, Jobs
Tax season is officially underway and hardworking residents of this area are gathering up their documents, and getting ready to get back some of their hard earned money, via an income tax refund. To assist some of those tax payers the United Way of Northern Chautauqua County is once again partnering with the IRS, SUNY Fredonia, and for the first time, the Westfield YWCA to offer the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program throughout Northern Chautauqua County.
The VITA program provides training and certification to a group of committed volunteers, who provide tax return preparation to qualified individuals at no cost. Every return is done for free, allowing the taxpayer to retain as much of their own money as possible. The volunteers must review IRS materials, and complete online and in-person training, and pass the certification exams in order to take part. This year volunteers will be on hand for appointments at the United Way office in Dunkirk, the Westfield YWCA, and the Fredonia Technology Incubator. In addition remote hours will be established for Silver Creek, Forestville, and Cassadaga.
United Way has been the area’s largest provider of VITA for more than 15 years. In that time VITA volunteers have secured refunds totaling well over $16 million while averaging about $1 million per year. The program offers free tax help to people who generally make $66,000 or less, persons with disabilities, and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. In addition, certain returns or situations may be determined to be out of scope of the VITA program.
To make an appointment at the United Way office, Technology Incubator, or one of the remote sites call 2-1-1, or 1-888-696-9211. All appointments will be made through the 2-1-1 number, and no appointments can be accepted by calling the office or locations. Walk-ins may not be seen, due to the high demand and priority given to customers with appointments.
The United Way of Northern Chautauqua County’s mission is to empower our local community through education, financial stability and health. One in three of our neighbors have been impacted by local outcome based programming, funded by strategic investments of $4,225,965 since 1999. The United Way is located at 626 Central Avenue, Dunkirk. Visit us on the web at www.unitedwayncc.org; follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.