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VITA hosts final volunteer training ahead of tax season start on Tuesday

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) – Staff at the United Way Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program in the North Texas area are ready to open next week on Jan. 25 to customers who have need help doing their income taxes.

“There are five or more different ways to take the training. The hardest part is sitting down and reading the book and spending two to three weeks going through PowerPoint presentations,” said Genevieve Anderson, VITA program director.

Over the past two weeks, Anderson has been training VITA volunteers and showing them an easier way to file tax returns and get certified.

“We’re going through everything and doing more hands-on work so you don’t just read it and sign up. We do different scenarios where it’s like this person comes in with this problem that’s where you’re going to have to look for the answer, that’s where you’re going to have to look for the solution or how you deal with it that’s how I ‘sign,” Anderson said.

There are VITA volunteers helping the community with free tax services for several years and some. even helped start a VITA site at Edwards Public Library for Clay County families.

“When I started, I was afraid of this program! I just didn’t know if I was going to do it right or not, but you always have someone to help you. The more courses you take, the more you understand and there are always changes in tax laws. We are the only ones to do taxes. We don’t have AARP or any such program in the county. So the residents are very happy and they start asking in August when the IRS is coming,” said Norma Ruiz-Hearne, VITA volunteer and Vita site program coordinator in Clay County.

Vita volunteers can be between the ages of 13 and 80.

“I get a lot of shocked looks and people usually think I’m a student at MSU. I decided to do this because a friend of mine was talking about it one day and I realized it was an interesting skill to Especially as an adult, you always have to do taxes, so I thought I might as well learn it on my own and help other people in the process. The VITA volunteer program is ideal. for anyone, no matter if you are young or old. There are lots of great opportunities, internships, volunteer hours and just fun,” said Prasi Desai, a VITA volunteer program.

Anderson said there were no more appointments available on Jan. 25 and the next day was also almost booked. Currently they have a steady number of daytime volunteers, but there are only 4 volunteers who can work in the evenings. Tax season typically lasts three months unless the IRS decides to extend the filing deadline.

To find out how to volunteer, visit VITA website

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