Mesa United Way is looking for volunteers to help low-income East Valley residents prepare their 2012 tax returns. Volunteers will help individuals, families, seniors, people with disabilities and those with English as a second language prepare and file their income tax returns free of charge, said Don Jensen, program manager for Mesa United Way.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program is overseen by the Internal Revenue Service and is intended not only to ensure taxpayers file accurate returns on time but that they receive all the tax credits they’re entitled to, Jensen said.
"During the last tax season, our VITA volunteers helped hundreds of individuals and families get back a total of $3.3 million in refunds and credits," he said. "Many of those dollars came through the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, which benefits individuals and families who pay little or nothing in taxes but who struggle to make ends meet. And by helping low-income people pay their rent and utility bills, the refunds and tax credits also help boost the Mesa economy."
Volunteers are asked to provide tax help three to four hours a week, from Jan. 28 through April 13. Training will be provided in January.
• A Helping Hand is our weekly spotlight on a volunteer opportunity in the East Valley. Find other ways to help your community at www.volunteermatch.org.