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United Way of SWLA offering free tax initiative

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Making an appointment for in-person or drop-off must be done by dialing 211, and the caller will specify in-person prep or a drop-off and the location of choice, according to United Way.(Dakota News Now)
Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 6:13 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - In a press release Monday, United Way of Southwest Louisiana announced that its free tax initiative, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), is open for registration.

United Way said its IRS Certified volunteers supply free tax prep for individuals or families who earned less than $57,000 in income tax for 2021.

“Almost 22% of families qualified to receive the EITC, and similar credits do not claim it,” United Way of Southwest Louisiana President and CEO Denise Durel explained. “Our volunteers ensure everyone gets the credits they’re entitled to while saving them from costly prep fees or refund anticipation loans.”

Making an appointment for in-person or drop-off must be done by dialing 211, and the caller will specify in-person prep or a drop-off and the location of choice, according to United Way.

Multiple sites in the five-parish Southwest Louisiana region are open for appointments, and an up-to-date list is maintained online at unitedwayswla.org/vita or by dialing 211, according to United Way.

United Way said the waiting area at sites is for the tax client only, and no other guests are allowed inside due to pandemic restrictions.

To prepare your taxes through the VITA system without visiting a site, go online to unitedwayswla.org/vita and click the MYFREETAXES link, United Way said.

United Way said VITA volunteers are trained by them and receive IRS Certification upon completing the program.

Anyone interested in volunteering at a site near them is asked to visit unitedwayswla.org/volunteer-vita.

United Way said any organization, business or agency willing to host a VITA site can contact them at 337.433.1088 ext. 210.

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