Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program provides free tax preparation services to individuals and families. IRS Certified volunteers are trained to prepare your taxes for free as well as recognize when valuable credits are available to you.

VITA may be able to help put hard-earned money back into your pocket in the form of tax refunds and tax credits. The free service saves taxpayers the expense of professional tax preparation services, which average about $200. Most people who make less than $56,000 qualify.  For those earning less than $56,000, we offer 2 different tax preparation sites in Lancaster County.  Both have trained volunteers who are eager to help you complete your 2019 federal, state and local tax returns for free. They will also help you determine if you are eligible to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and help to get you the maximum refund possible.

In 2019, a total of 1,096 tax returns were completed.  This created an estimated $784,428 refunded and saved for our local residents.  A special thank you to Lancaster County Council on Aging, Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church, and the Springs Close Foundation for making this possible.  

 

NOW SEEKING VOLUNTEERS FOR 2021 TAX SEASON.

United Way of Lancaster County is looking for volunteers to spend a little time learning about taxes.  If you’re interested, you’ll be trained with Internal Revenue Service tax materials to help people with their federal and state individual income tax returns.  
 
Through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, you will learn to prepare simple federal and state tax returns.  In return, you will be asked to donate about 4 hours a week helping at a VITA/TCE site from mid-January through April 15th.  Most VITA/TCE sites use computers to prepare and electronically transmit tax returns (e-file).  If you’re interested in learning to e-file tax returns on a volunteer basis, then VITA/TCE can teach you.
 
You need not have any accounting experience.  All that’s required is a desire to help others who cannot prepare their basic tax returns or afford to pay a preparer.  VITA/TCE volunteers participate in training session—in class, online, or through self-study—then are tested on what they learned.  Once certified, volunteers are assigned to VITA/TCE sites in neighborhood community centers, libraries, churches, etc. in locations convenient to VITA/TCE customers.  
 
Orientation will be scheduled in December with training dates in early January.  More details on those dates will be announced soon.  For more information or to volunteer, call our office at 803-283-8923. 
 
To volunteer, complete the 2021 Volunteer Information Form and email back to liveunited@uwaylcsc.org or fax to 803-285-2844. 
 
 
HOW TO SCHEDULE:

Dial 2-1-1 to make an appointment or call toll free at 1-866-892-9211.

 

WHO CAN QUALIFY FOR FREE TAX PREP?

You qualify to have your taxes prepared free of charge at our VITA locations if in 2019:

  • Your total household income was $56,000 or less

  • You do not receive active military pay

  • You are not practicing clergy

  • You did not have farm income

  • You did not have rental property income

  • You did not own a business

  • You did not have income from trading stocks or bonds

 

WHAT TO BRING TO YOUR APPOINTMENT:

  • Proof of identification—Picture ID

  • Social Security Cards for you, your spouse and dependents and/or a Social Security Number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration

  • Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return

  • Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-Misc from all employers

  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)

  • A copy of last year’s federal and state returns, if available

  • Proof of bank account routing numbers and account numbers for Direct Deposit, such as a blank check

  • Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider’s tax identifying number if appropriate

 

2020 VITA SITES:

Lancaster County Council on Aging

309 S. Plantation Rd. 

Lancaster, SC 29720

 

Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church

238 Fort Mill Hwy.

Indian Land, SC 29707