United Way Quad Cities seeks volunteers to help prepare taxes

Local News

Due to the coronavirus the department of treasury is issuing to US citizens economic impact payments known as a stimulus check or tax refund concept.

United Way Quad Cities seeks qualified volunteers to help Quad-City residents prepare taxes Jan. 26 to April 15 through the nonprofit’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

The program provides free income tax-preparation services to individuals and households with an annual income of $57,000 or less, a news release says.

“The coming tax season is likely to be the busiest year yet for the VITA program, and compared to the demand, we are facing a relative shortage of volunteers,” said Rene Gellerman, United Way president and CEO.

During the past two years, volunteers completed nearly 10,000 free tax returns, helping to bring more than $9 million back to Quad-Cities families during that time.

“For the many local families who have lost income and a sense of security as a result of COVID-19 — as well as the one-in-three Quad Citizens who struggle to pay for their basic needs — assistance through free tax preparation is a necessity,” Gellerman said.

Most filers helped through VITA received a tax return, averaging $1,500 per family. This money is often spent locally to boost the Quad-Cities economy.

“Over the course of the program’s 12 years, local volunteers have consistently shown up to deliver this much-needed service to directly improve the financial well-being of our community and strengthen the building blocks of opportunity,” Gellerman said.

Tax preparers and greeters needed

Volunteers are needed to help prepare taxes and greet filers beginning Jan. 26 at 10 locations throughout the Iowa and Illinois Quad Cities.

Volunteers do not need previous experience and must be at least 18. Interested volunteers can learn more during one of two information sessions held via Zoom noon-1 p.m. Jan. 5 or 7-8 p.m. Jan. 7.

Training is required for all volunteers and will be held via Zoom during four consecutive days of two-hour sessions, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 11-14.

Drop-off sites will be available for tax filers. All volunteers and sites will be required to exercise COVID-19 protocol for safety. To volunteer or learn more, contact Melissa Gesing at melissa@unitedwayqc.org.

More information on United Way’s free income tax-preparation services, as well as details on how to schedule an appointment, will be available in January on www.unitedwayqc.org.

The Quad Cities VITA Coalition is led by United Way Quad Cities, in collaboration with AARP of Western Illinois and AARP of Eastern Iowa.

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