VITA tax preparation program looking for volunteers

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — A program that has been in Bay County for two decades is looking for volunteers to make this year’s event a success.

VITA, or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, provides free tax preparation and help to people making less than $66,000 per year.

“The VITA program is really a great community outreach for the community in order to help individuals who are low to medium income to come in and get a service to get their moneys back with their tax return and get it done free,” Jackie Keller with the IRS said. “That money that they save can be used to pay bills … or even be set aside for savings for a rainy day.”

Keller says they need certified tax preparers and greeters to help. You can give as much or as little time as you’d like.

“Preparers and greeters is what runs the program. It’s a program where everything’s free, we don’t charge the individual to get the tax return prepared so we need the volunteers to do that,” Keller explained. “We desperately need volunteers.”

Keller says the qualifications for becoming a tax preparer are being computer literate and attending two training sessions. Those will take place at FSU PC’s Holley Center January 10 and 17 in Room A210 from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. You do need to attend both sessions to become certified. You can also complete a packet at the United Way to complete the training online.

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