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United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona seeks volunteers for its free tax return preparation program

United Way's VITA program gives free IRS sponsored tax certification that volunteers can complete in person or online
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Posted at 5:58 AM, Jan 03, 2023

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — January 2023 is the start of the new tax filing year and an opportunity to make the most of your tax refund. This year, tax day is Tuesday, April 18 and if you miss the deadline, you can expect to pay up to 25% on top of your originally owed taxes, plus interest. But, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona wants to help prevent that.

They are looking for volunteers for its annual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, also known as VITA.

United Way's VITA program gives free IRS sponsored tax certification that volunteers can complete in person or online.

In 2021, United Way VITA volunteers provided this free service for over eleven thousand people, resulting in more than $20 million dollars in total refunds.

“It’s a small commitment from each volunteer in this huge effort that provides this critical service to Tucson families," said Gina Nickerson, Director of Vita Services at United Way.

The number of volunteers directly relates to the number of tax returns that VITA can do during tax season.

Now, the training program is comprehensive, but United Way tells says it's confident that they can train people as young as 16 years old to prepare taxes.

“Tax preparation even by yourself can be very intimidating, and our volunteers have such wonderful big hearts to sit down with these families and try to make it easy and finish it right there for them in the same day," said Nickerson.

The VITA program is also seeking volunteers to serve as greeters, interview specialists, and Spanish-speaking interpreters. For more information on how to apply, visit their website.

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Brooke Chau is a reporter for KGUN 9. She was a part of Fresno State's newscast, Fresno State Focus and interned at KFSN-ABC30 in Fresno, CA before coming to KGUN 9. Share your story ideas and important issues with Brooke by emailing brooke.chau@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.