Lancaster, PA – United Way of Lancaster County’s VITA Program is one of more than 12,000 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs across the country that the IRS relies on to help people file their taxes every year, completely free of charge. This year, VITA is opening a new location, VITA Central at 1380 Harrisburg Pike. This site will replace the Janet Avenue site and will be open year-round to assist clients with tax services. Look for VITA’s expanded services later this year as they grow their commitment to creating financial stability though education to clients in Lancaster County.
Last year, United Way’s IRS certified volunteers assisted more than 11,000 individuals and families in Lancaster County complete their tax returns and receive in excess of $14M in refunds – without worrying about hidden fees or unexpected charges.
VITA provides free tax preparation services (federal, state and local) to taxpayers who make less than $62,000 and live, work or go to school in Lancaster County. The volunteer tax preparers at United Way’s free tax preparation sites go through at least 40 hours of tax law training and are certified by the IRS. Customers receive high-quality, professional service by trained volunteers who are equipped to identify tax refund opportunities for customers.
“VITA helps individuals and families in Lancaster County who need it most by keeping their hard-earned money in their pockets. Tax time provides many low- and moderate-income clients with the opportunity pay bills, pay down debt, and to save for their future”, said Michelle Ingham, Operations Manager, VITA. “Our 17 VITA sites will open on January 21, so we can ensure that our clients receive their refund as quickly as they can. VITA brings millions of dollars back into our local economy through refunds and valuable tax credits like the Earned Income Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC).”
Taxpayers should file their tax returns as early as possible. “Don’t let people take advantage of you by claiming to be able to get you a quicker refund,” Ingham adds. “High-interest loans and short-term advances on your refund cost you more in the long run.”
How to Schedule. To schedule an appointment at one of VITA’s 17 tax preparation sites around Lancaster County, taxpayers should call 211 or they can schedule online, obtain information about VITA locations, eligibility requirements, and other details by visit www.FreeTaxPrepLancaster.org.
VITA also offers a free online program that allows taxpayers to file federal and state tax returns at www.MyFreeTaxes.com.
United Way of Lancaster County’s VITA program is sponsored by Fulton Bank, Ephrata National Bank, PNC Bank, and United Way of Lancaster County’s Women’s Leadership Council.
In addition, VITA receives funding from the Internal Revenue Service.
For more information, go to https://www.uwlanc.org/VITA.