Garden Spot Village residents, volunteering with the IRS-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, will offer free tax return preparation on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through Thursday, April 11.
The national program, sponsored locally by the United Way of Lancaster County, is available to anyone who earned less than $62,000 in 2018. It was started by the Internal Revenue Service to help people comply with the federal law that compels every person who is eligible to file a tax return. United Way of Lancaster County supports 17 VITA locations around the county including Garden Spot Village, located at 433 S Kinzer Avenue, New Holland. Garden Spot Village volunteers began offering tax assistance through VITA 16 years ago.
Steve O’Neill, the VITA Director at United Way says, “The VITA Program ensures that hard-working individuals and families receive the maximum tax benefits available without losing hundreds of dollars in paid-preparer fees.”
He continues, “This year, we project that United Way VITA volunteers will help over 10,000 taxpayers file their tax returns for free.” In addition, O’Neill says, “VITA believes in reducing the typical anxiety and frustration of tax time and replacing it with hope. Hope to take advantage of the opportunity that tax refunds often provide to our clients to invest in their future. VITA volunteers are there for one reason only: to help. They aren’t there for a paycheck, which means that we are focused solely on our clients and their needs. We simply want to help.”
Duane Tice and Don Aldrich, Garden Spot Village residents, co-coordinate the VITA program at Garden Spot Village. Tice echoes O’Neill’s desire to help, saying that many people are anxious and nervous when they arrive for their appointments. But, he says, “We help them get their taxes done and they walk out with a smile.”
To make an appointment at Garden Spot Village, call 717-355-6000. To learn more about the VITA program in Lancaster County or to find an alternate location, visit www.FreeTaxPrepLancaster.org.