Tax season is officially underway. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA), sponsored by the United Way of Northwest Florida, is up and running. Overall, volunteers have filed nearly a thousand returns this year so far.
It’s run on donations and by volunteers. This year, nearly half of the preparers come from Mrs. Laverne’s accounting class at Haney Technical Center. The students are trained by an IRS consultant, attend a vigorous four-day class, and show what they learned on a test and practice examples.
“Doing the tax preparing has really helped me get out into the field, especially with doing accounting operations,” Cheryl Hudson said.
“It’s really good work, it helps you out in the long run, learn more about taxes, learn more about tax law, things like that,” Latanya Capps added.
The students said they are enhancing their resumes while giving back to their communities.
“They thank you so many times before they leave. They thank you when they get there, and they’re really nice,” Capps said about helping people.
People who made $62,000 or less in 2015 can take advantage of the free program.
It’s located at the A.D. Harris Learning Village at 819 E. 11th Street. Volunteers are available to help Wednesday – Friday during regular business hours. and on Saturday mornings.
You’ll need to bring a photo ID, social security card, all tax documents from 2015, and new this year, proof of health insurance.
This year, you have until Monday, April 18th to file your return.