The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is a national program offering free federal and state income tax preparation for individuals and families with annual incomes of $52,000 or less.
There is a VITA site in Morgan County at the Morgan County library, staffed by employees of 1st Bank of Morgan. Appointments are available Monday through Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m. Appointments can be made by contacting Anne Porter or Ken Transtrum at 1st Bank at (801) 829-3402. You may also call 211 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
The VITA program seeks to assist persons with low to moderate incomes, the elderly, the limited English-speaking population and people with disabilities – those who require assistance in preparing their tax returns but can’t afford the services of a paid preparer.
The complexities and nature of tax law discourage and frustrate many taxpayers with low incomes, so a good number who are entitled to refunds don’t even file a return.
The volunteer tax preparers with the VITA program undergo a training and certification program sponsored by the IRS. The volunteers are proficient at getting all of the allowed credits.
One often overlooked credit on tax returns is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). It is estimated that between 15 to 25 percent of EITC refunds are left unclaimed.
VITA also offers some asset-building programs at the sites such as US Savings Bonds and referrals to financial literacy services in the community. In addition, when VITA clients express a particular financial need or goal, they are referred to local non-profit agencies to assist them in meeting these objectives.