For several years, ISU Extension in Cass County and surrounding counties has served as a host site for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. Now, organizers are looking for local volunteers to keep the program going strong. VITA is an IRS-sponsored program that certifies community volunteers to prepare and e-file basic tax returns at no cost for low to moderate income individuals and families. Approximately 70 individuals benefitted from the program for the 2012 tax year, bringing over $150,000 in tax refunds back into the county.
Volunteers are needed in Cass County, as well as other locations across southwest Iowa, to prepare 2013 taxes. Volunteers can work weekdays, weekends or evenings, giving as much time as their schedule allows, and would be needed in late winter/early spring 2014. Interested individuals do not need to be full-time tax preparers to qualify, but should have a basic understanding of income tax laws, an interest in helping others and basic computer skills.
VITA volunteers are provided free training, self study materials, and software necessary to prepare basic income tax returns including Forms 1040EZ, 1040A, and 1040. Volunteers must complete a certification exam and the IRS waives liability for volunteers if they prepare returns within the scope of their certification.
For more information on volunteering with the VITA program, contact the Cass County Extension Office at 712-243-1132 , or Mary Beth Kaufman, Extension Family Program Specialist at 712-755-3104 (or e-mail: email@example.com.) Interested persons will need to complete a one page application.
The VITA program provides free tax preparation to low and moderate income families so they can claim the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Care Tax Credits. In Southwest Iowa, the program is coordinated by Iowa State University Extension with funding and support from the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Human Services, and Iowans for Social and Economic Development (ISED).