Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Offered at University and Off-Campus Locations

January 31, 2014

Low and moderate income individuals and families from the area with household incomes below $51,000 for 2013 can receive free assistance in completing and filing their federal, state and local tax returns through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, offered by The University of Scranton and a group of local human service organizations led by the United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties.

University of Scranton accounting students and a host of professional United Way volunteers will provide tax assistance on campus and at multiple locations in Lackawanna and Wayne counties in February, March and early in April. 

Residents using the VITA service are asked to bring the following items: a valid photo ID; all W2 Forms; all 1099 forms (interest, dividends, pensions); real estate tax receipts; Social Security numbers or Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITIN) for all taxpayers and dependents; W-7 forms if appropriate; information related to income and expenses (business, rental properties, sale of stocks); and a personal banking account check if direct deposit is desired. Last year’s tax returns are also requested.

University students will offer VITA walk-in service (no appointment necessary) on the first floor of Brennan Hall, Madison Avenue, on the University’s campus on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from Tuesday, Feb. 4, to Wednesday, March 12; and from Tuesday, March 25, to Friday, April 4. Hours of service will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays; from noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays; and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on scheduled Fridays. Service will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis and advance appointments cannot be made. For additional information, call 570-941-4045.

Appointments are required for VITA service offered at the Carbondale Senior Community Center, the Valley Community Library in Peckville, the Taylor Community Library, the Abington Volunteer Fire Company, the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce in Honesdale and Woodloch Pines in Hawley. Click here for full schedule of visit www.uwlc.net or call 570-504-0614.

“Far too many hard-working families in our community are walking a financial tightrope,” said Gary Drapek, president of the United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties. “The VITA program and our dedicated volunteers help these families and individuals become more financially stable and economically independent.”

University of Scranton accounting students have participated in the VITA program for more than 20 years, helping to prepare more than 1,000 tax returns in 2012 alone.

According to Drapek, in the last six years, VITA program volunteers have prepared more than 8,400 tax returns with more than $1 million in fee savings for the tax clients, $2 million in Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) dollars returned to the community and $6.5 million in Federal Income Tax refunds infusing the local economy and the budgets of hard-working area families.

VITA program partners are The University of Scranton, The United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties, United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA, the Lackawanna County Library System, the Consumer Credit Counseling of NEPA and the IRS.

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