Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

Did you know?

According to a report published by the IRS in the spring of 2021, North Carolinians have $42,307,200 in unclaimed tax refunds from the 2017 tax year. The average amount unclaimed was $827 per taxpayer.  

For most households filing tax returns through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs around the country, it is the biggest “paycheck” received during the year.  And, VITA-based tax refunds lifted 6 million Americans out of poverty last year.

VITA provides free tax return filing assistance to people who are low to moderate-income, have disabilities, are elders, or have low English proficiency.  Lumber River United Way is excited to be able to offer this service to our Bladen, Hoke, and Robeson County neighbors.  The volunteers preparing returns are trained through VITA programs and certified through the IRS.  


How does it work?

First, go to the VITA section of the Lumber River United Way’s website to make your appointment.  https://www.lumberriveruw.org/vita  

When you make an appointment, you will receive an email with confirmation of your appointment and a list of documents you should bring to your appointment. 

A few days before your appointment, you will receive a reminder email.  We’ll include the list of documents again so you can make sure everything is in order before you arrive.  

During your appointment, we will conduct an intake interview to make sure we know all the credits and deductions, and sources of income that need to be reported.  We will help you sign consent forms for the program, and we’ll help you set up a client portal account with the IRS so you can add documents or check on your return.  Lastly, we will scan your documents so that your preparer will have access to all the information they need to create the best return for you.  You will get to keep all your documents.  


After your return is prepared, you will be able to schedule a time to meet, either virtually or in-person, to review your return and sign it.  If you consent, we will e-file it for you.  If you would rather have a paper copy so you can mail it, we’ll give you printed copies.  E-filing allows the IRS to process your return within a few weeks.  A mailed return can take months to process.  In fact, the IRS is still processing millions of paper returns from last year.  


Need more information?

If you would like to learn more, have questions, or would like to volunteer, you can contact our office:  910 739 4244.

We are excited to have this opportunity to serve our neighbors.