The Internal Revenue Service is starting the season 17 days earlier than last year. Why? It anticipates delays in delivering returns because there’s still a backlog from last year’s returns. Plus, COVID and a shrinking IRS staff means people need to file early to get their returns in a timely manner.
United Way Suncoast is ready to help any community member who makes $66,000 or less with free tax preparation services. Our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) staff can help people navigate the complexities. While people can file their own taxes with no assistance, our volunteers assure they get the maximum refund, including the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. It is also important for taxpayers who received a COVID-19 relief Economic Impact Payment last year or who got an advance Child Tax Credit payment to make sure they report the correct amount on their tax returns.
The broad work of United Way Suncoast and its partners in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota and DeSoto counties produced some stellar numbers in 2021: VITA returned more than $9 million in refunds to the community, including $3.2 million in Earned Income Tax Credits and Child Tax Credits. We helped them save $1.8 million in preparation fees. That’s a total of $11 million coming back to the region. It’ll be even more this year if the organization can reach more people in need of their services.
Those seeking assistance can make an appointment by calling 833-897-8482 (833-UWS-VITA)
or visiting http://www.uwsvita.org/.