VITA Free Tax Prep Kicksoff

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Steve Logan

10 Jan, 2022

The United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley teams up with key partners to provide free income tax preparation assistance through VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program).  Low to moderate income individuals and families, as well as seniors can qualify for the services made available by both the IRS’s VITA and Tax Counseling for Seniors (TCE).  The program kicks off with the “Super Saturday” event on Saturday, February 12, 2022 at these partner sites. 

The Mahoning County Financial Stability Partnership is hosting a Financial Fair from 9:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m. as a part of the “Super Saturday” event at YSU. More than 10 partners from the Financial Stability Partnership will be vendors at this event to provide financial education and support to all individuals in attendance. Short seminars will also be offered to clients being served as they wait to have their taxes prepared. The goal of this event is to assist each family in making sensible fiscal decisions with not only their tax return money but for their financial future.

VITA offers free assistance to taxpayers, including but not limited to persons with disabilities, students, and older taxpayers who file Form 1040EZ, Form 1040A, or a basic Form 1040 Federal tax return.  VITA volunteers also alert taxpayers to special credits and deductions for which they may be eligible. Taxpayers who visit a VITA site should bring wage and earnings statements (Form W-2) from all employers, interest statements from banks (Forms 1099), a copy of last year’s tax return if available, and other relevant information about income and expenses.  Taxpayers with complex returns may need to see an accountant.

Working individuals and families also may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).  IRS estimates that 20 percent of eligible taxpayers do not claim the credit, which could put as much as $5,372 into the pockets of a family with two children. Some individuals and families may qualify for the credit for the first time because of unemployment or other changes in their financial, marital, or parental status during the past year.  The EITC is a valuable but complex tax break.  VITA volunteers can help determine if taxpayers qualify for the EITC.

Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) is another IRS-sponsored, free income tax service available to our community.  Both VITA and TCE volunteers complete a rigorous IRS training course in basic income tax return preparation before they can assist taxpayers.  Last year, over 2,000 individuals and families in Mahoning County took advantage of the free tax sites resulting in nearly $2 million dollars in refunds and fee savings – money that stayed in the hands of those who need it most.  For the past ten years, United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley has offered support to the VITA program that has allowed for additional volunteers and sites throughout Mahoning County. Site locations include Boardman at Zion Lutheran Church, Campbell Elem./Middle School, Oak Hill Collaborative, OCCHA, Sebring Library, Tri-Lakes Library, Youngstown Community School, Youngstown State University Williamson College of Business, Zion Lutheran Church, and Catholic Charities.  

Boardman Library
Important note:  Now located at Zion Lutheran Church

3300 Canfield Rd. Youngstown, Ohio 44511
(Weds. & Thurs. 9:00am – 1:00pm) Feb 9 – April 14

Campbell Elementary/Middle School
2002 Community Circle, Campbell, Ohio 44405
(Tues. & Thurs. 5:00pm – 8:00pm) Feb 8 – April 14

Catholic Charities
319 W. Rayen Ave. Youngstown, Ohio 44502
(Fri. 9:00am-12:00pm) Feb 18 – April 1
CLOSED ON HOLIDAYS

Oak Hill Collaborative
507 Oak Hill Ave. Youngstown, Ohio 44502
(4:00pm – 6:00pm) Feb 9, Feb 23, March 9 & March 23

OCCHA
3660 Shirley Rd. Youngstown, Ohio 44502
(9:00am – 12:00pm) Feb 19 & March 19
(1:00pm – 5:00pm) April 2

Sebring Library
195 W. Ohio Ave. Sebring, Ohio 44672
(Sats. 9:30am- 1:30pm) Feb 12 – April 9

Tri-Lakes Library
13820 Mahoning Ave. North Jackson, Ohio 44451
(Mon. & Weds. 12:00pm – 3:00pm) Feb 14 – April 6

Youngstown Community School – FOR SCHOOL FAMILIES ONLY
50 Essex St. Youngstown, Ohio 44502
(4:00pm – 6:00pm) Feb. 14 & Feb 28
(4:00pm – 6:00pm) Mar 14 & Mar 28

Youngstown State University, Williamson College of Business Administration
211 N. Hazel St. Youngstown, Ohio 44555
(Sats. 10:00am – 3:00pm)  February 5 – April 2
CLOSED MARCH 12

Zion Lutheran Church
3300 Canfield Rd. Youngstown, Ohio 44511
(Thurs. 5:00pm – 8:00pm) Feb 17 – April 7

Contact 330-540-1947 or vita@ccregional.org to schedule an appointment.

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