United Way Seeking Volunteers For Tax Prep Program

United Way of Hancock County is recruiting volunteers for a number of roles to help run the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program this winter.

VITA is an IRS program that offers free tax preparation services for individuals with a household income of $60,000 or less. Priority will be given to those over age 60; individuals who speak English as a secondary language; and adults who have disabilities. Scheduling for VITA clients will begin Jan. 17, and appointments will be offered at 50 North and the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library.

Volunteers are needed to help prepare and file taxes from early February through mid-April and do not need to be tax experts. Several highly trained individuals will be available at each site to handle any challenges that arise. Help will also be needed to perform general administrative tasks at the United Way office and at each site, such as scheduling tax appointments, making calls and scanning documents.

For the tax preparers, training will be offered in January with the choice of three to four sessions in person, or through a self-paced online program, based on the individual’s experience and comfort level. Individuals may choose to volunteer for several hours or several days per week, depending on their availability.

In 2019, the last time a full VITA season was fulfilled in Hancock County prior to the coronavirus pandemic, volunteers facilitated over 1,600 free tax appointments. This returned $2.8 million to local households.

Those interested in volunteering should call Bridgit Phillips at the United Way office at 419-423-1432 by Jan. 6.