Urban League Is Seeking Volunteers For Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program

Wednesday, September 18, 2019
The Urban League of Greater Chattanooga is in need of volunteers for its annual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, an initiative that assists individuals earning $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities and limited English-speaking taxpayers who need help preparing tax returns. 
 
Volunteers will be trained and certified for preparing Federal Income Tax Returns and no prior experience or knowledge of filing taxes is necessary. However, basic computer skills for inputting tax return information and the ability to transport to Urban League for training are required.
 
“The VITA program aids residents in Chattanooga and surrounding areas who may have difficulty navigating the complicated tax preparation process,” said Val Palmer, VITA program coordinator of Urban League.
“Dedicated volunteers are essential to the success of this initiative and to those in need of assistance with their taxes.”
 
Volunteers will participate in a four-day in-person training course on the topics of tax law, tax return preparation and tax preparation software. This training will be followed by an online course for further review and understanding. Once all training is complete, volunteers will be tested on what they have learned to become certified tax preparers.
 
Upon certification, volunteers will work at sites such as recreation facilities, universities, libraries, shopping malls and community centers during the program, which will begin mid-January and conclude April 15, 2020. Volunteer schedules are flexible, but a minimum of four hours per week is required.
 
“Urban League of Greater Chattanooga is proud to host the VITA program, which benefits so many individuals and families in our communities,” said Warren E. Logan, Jr., president and CEO of Urban League. “Our mission includes enabling disadvantaged persons to secure economic self-reliance, and the VITA initiative contributes to our cause. Our valued volunteers and partnerships make this possible.”
 
Last tax season marked a record-setting season for the area VITA initiative. The organization completed more than 13,500 VITA returns for individuals throughout the area, saving Chattanooga taxpayers a collective $4.4 million.  
 
“We look forward to another successful year and are immensely grateful to our vital volunteers who will be certified by the IRS to assist in our efforts,” Mr. Logan said.
 
Training sessions will be held at Urban League of Greater Chattanooga, 730 E ML King Blvd. on the following dates:
 
•         Sept. 23-26 from 5:30-9 p.m. 
•         Oct. 21-24 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. (bring your lunch)
•         Oct. 28-31 from 5:30-9 p.m.
•         Nov.  11-14 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. (bring your lunch)
•         Nov. 18-21 from 5:30-9 p.m. 
 
For more information or to volunteer for the VITA program, visit www.ulchatt.net/VITA or email Palmer at vpalmer@epbfi.com.

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