Getting free tax preparation might be more important than ever this year for many impacted by the pandemic.
Valley VITA is back to provide that service for low-income households, but it’s going to look a little bit different this year due to COVID-19.
In just two weeks, the United Way SAW program kicks off its free tax prep. This year, they’re doing scheduled drop-offs and virtual preparation, hoping to safely control the flow.
Valley VITA, with its IRS certified specialists, serves households making less than $57,000 a year.
The Program Manager, Sara Hubbell, says the biggest challenge this year will be communicating with taxpayers since they won’t be sitting side-by-side, instead, they’ll be talking curb-side, on the phone, and through Zoom.
“This has been a tough year for a lot of folks, and you know, for each return that we prepare we’re able to save that community member an average of $200. And you know, every dollar counts right now,” said Hubbell.
United Way is starting now to schedule appointments for a February 2 start date at its four different locations – United Way SAW in Fishersville, Stuarts Draft High School, Rosenwald Community Center in Waynesboro, and Booker T. Washington Community Center in Staunton.
Valley VITA still needs volunteers who can help with scheduling, intake, and more, including some willing to work on-site and others who can work remotely.