United Way Free Tax Service Program Makes Big Impact

(Story and pic courtesy of the United Way of Hancock County)

United Way of Hancock County’s VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program made over $1 million in impact to community members before closing for the season on April 6.

United Way’s free tax preparation services were hosted at 50 North and the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library. Close to 1,500 state and federal tax returns were filed by a group of 18 trained volunteers since appointments began on Feb. 2. Over $1 million is being returned to the local economy through state and federal tax refunds and earned income credits.

“We were thrilled to bring the VITA program back to Hancock County after a two-year pandemic hiatus,” said United Way of Hancock County CEO Angela DeBoskey. “We recognize that this was a service that was sorely missed over the past two years. That’s why we will be keeping this program indefinitely and working to expand it to serve even more of the community in future tax seasons.”

VITA is an IRS program that offers free tax preparation services for Hancock County residents with a household income of $60,000 or less. Priority was given to clients over age 60; individuals who speak English as a secondary language; and adults who have disabilities. Senior citizens who no longer need to file taxes were also advised by VITA volunteers.

Residents in need of a free tax filing option ahead of the April 18 federal deadline are encouraged to visit www.MyFreeTaxes.com. This United Way-sponsored program is a free, online, self-filing system offered in partnership with the IRS for households that earn under $73,000 annually. The website is self-guided with prompts to help taxpayers complete their state and federal filings.

The Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation provided a grant for partial support of the 2023 VITA program.

“We send a sincere thank you to everyone who made this year’s VITA program possible –50 North and the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library for hosting us, and the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation for their support,” DeBoskey said. “We also thank our dedicated volunteers who’ve spent the past two months helping hundreds of families and individuals. Your service has truly made a difference in the lives of so many.”

If you were impacted by the VITA program this season, email your comments to [email protected].