VITA

Dorine Prine, program coordinator for Gila County Community Action Program, helps a resident with taxes.

The local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program needs help. This is a way to volunteer in the community: a desk job completing income taxes for low-income Gila County residents and scheduled around the volunteer’s availability.

This is a rewarding opportunity to be part of an elite team helping secure more than $1 million in refunds for taxpayers in area communities.

It’s not necessary to be a tax expert to join the Community Action Program’s VITA team.

“A new volunteer just needs to be friendly and willing to learn, no special experience is necessary – training is provided for free, and at the volunteer’s own pace. Once the training is completed, a VITA volunteer will become IRS-certified to complete income taxes for our low-income clients. Our volunteers contribute as many hours as they have available, and on a schedule that is convenient to them,” said Dorine Prine, program coordinator for Gila County Community Action Program.

She reports Gila County’s VITA team completed 837 income tax returns last year: 476 in Payson, 286 in Globe and 75 in Hayden. They helped secure a total amount of refunds of $1,103,845 – and since their service is free, that saved low-income taxpayers more than $350,000 they would otherwise have paid in tax preparation fees – money they could use for groceries, car payments, utility bills or other daily essentials.

“And it’s definitely a fulfilling way to volunteer. VITA volunteers take great satisfaction in helping hard-working, low-income clients receive the full amount of their tax refund, and avoid the high cost of tax preparation. They enjoy knowing this is a way to help make their community a better place. Some even volunteer in order to learn a trade they will be able to use in the future – and volunteering is a great asset to add to your resume,” said Prine.

To learn more about VITA, or join the team, call Prine at 928-474-7192 or emaildprine@gilacountyaz.gov

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