Goodwill, United Way partner to provide free tax preparation
Area nonprofits, with support of IRS VITA program, to offer free tax prep and electronic filing in Sarasota, Venice and North Port
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SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – Goodwill Manasota is partnering with United Way Suncoast to provide free tax preparation services in Sarasota County to low- to moderate-income households. Starting on February 13 and continuing through April 14, volunteers will assist with free tax preparation at Goodwill’s North Sarasota (5150 N. Tamiami Tr.) and Venice (676 S. Tamiami Tr.) locations. Starting February 18, the service will be available at Goodwill’s North Port location (14879 Tamiami Tr.).
Goodwill and United Way are able to offer this service through the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which offers free tax help to those below $66,000, persons with disabilities, and limited English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals. Local volunteers are still being welcomed for tax preparation services.
Areas of focus for this year’s VITA program will be the Earned Income Tax Credit, with an average $2,500 credit for families, and Economic Impact Payments, which will be recovery rebates on this year’s tax return.
“We are happy to partner with Goodwill to ensure that community members have access to life-changing supports such as VITA,” said Bronwyn Beightol, Chief Impact Officer UWS. “Our partnership will make it possible for more of our ALICE families and individuals to take advantage of this free service.”
VITA tax preparers can prepare returns with credits including the Additional Child Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Care, Education Credits, and Retirement Saver’s Credit. VITA tax preparers cannot complete forms containing: Schedule C with losses, Complicated & Advanced Schedule D (capital gains and losses), Form SS-5 (request for Social Security Number), Form 8606 (non-deductible IRA), Form 8615 (minor’s investment income), or Form SS-8 (determination of worker status for purposes of federal employment taxes and income tax withholding).
“Tax season can be a time of extreme stress for many community members,” said Bob Rosinsky, president and CEO of Goodwill Manasota. “The IRS VITA program is a wonderful service; we’re happy to partner with United Way Suncoast to provide information, resources and expert assistance to help residents to file their taxes while ensuring they receive every deduction to which they’re entitled.”
The free tax preparation will be offered on Wednesdays and Saturdays in Sarasota and Venice, and Thursdays in North Port. Appointments are required – go to unitedwaysuncoast.org/vita or call 813-419-3918 for further information and to make an appointment.
PHOTO AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST: VITA volunteers are ready to assist community members during a past 12-hour VITA Tax-a-Thon event
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With philanthropic donations and revenue generated by the sales of donated goods, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and those with other barriers to employment by providing jobs, job skills training, and free career services. For more information or for a listing of locations, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org or call 941-355-2721.
About United Way Suncoast
United Way Suncoast severs the constraints that prevent families from thriving. We dismantle the barriers to human prosperity, uniting our community along the way. When we provide pathways to early learning, financial stability and youth success, we lift up families as they cultivate a future beyond the circumstantial constraints put on them. We provide choices. We provide opportunities. We create space for families to grow without limitations, elevating communities by building a future with equity for all. We are proud to serve the people of DeSoto, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pinellas and Sarasota counties by operating and funding services and programs to help our community have the Freedom To Rise. For more information, visit www.unitedwaysuncoast.org.