VITA program helps families get higher tax refund

VITA program helps families get higher tax refund
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - It's tax season, and the United Way in Jonesboro wants to make sure Region 8 residents are getting the full refund they deserve.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, also known as VITA, is in its seventh year at the United Way.

The program started in 2009 when the Internal Revenue Service contacted the United Way about helping low-income families get the earned income credit when filing taxes.

A United Way employee said in Jonesboro alone $4 million goes unclaimed for the earned income credit each year.

The VITA program allows for families who qualify for the earned income credit to get free assistance in filing taxes.

The program is run entirely by volunteers who complete 30 to 40 hours of training to certify them with the IRS.

Tonya Weaver, volunteer, helps sift through all the important forms to get families the most money possible.

"They are so grateful, you know, and not only are we giving them as much refund as they deserve, but we are also saving them on that tax preparer fee which is, you know, $100 to $200," Weaver said.

Certain qualifications are required to get help from the program and to earn the tax credit.

It is income based and depends on how many children you have.

The United Way has appointments available through tax season on Wednesday mornings or Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

To find out if you qualify or to set up an appointment call United Way in Jonesboro at 870-935-3658.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android