WHEELING – For those who haven’t filed their income taxes yet, there is still time to do so on time because Tax Day is Tuesday, April 18th.
According to the Internal Revenue Service, the tax filing deadline is April 18 this year instead of April 15 due to the Liberation Day celebration in Washington, DC.
Local volunteer tax preparers, who are part of the Volunteer Tax Assistance Program operated out of the Ohio County Public Library, are still busy recording people’s latest returns prepared at the library.
We don’t take more anymore, but we still make and review them. “We stopped accepting new customers on April 10,” said Lynette Parker, VITA site coordinator.
Parker said VITA is an outreach program of the IRS, which provides training and certification for volunteer tax preparers.
The IRS provides all training programs, and the library donates space and upkeep of the space. It’s a community partnership. We’re also working with Change Inc. of Weirton; they’re giving a grant from DHHR that helps us buy supplies, paper for the printer, ink, and pencils.
About 3,000 people have used the program this year, Parker said, which equates to about $3.3 million in proceeds going back to the community.
“It’s just a great program. It saves people a lot of money. I love numbers so it was a good match for me.” “I love people and to volunteer in the community.”
Vita is an invaluable program that offers help to people of all ages, said Marsha Porter, Vita Associate Site Coordinator.
“The best part is helping the old people in Wheeling, the ones who have no one to help them,” said Porter.
Those interested in volunteering may contact Porter at 740-633-2879. In addition to tax preparers, volunteers are also needed for other jobs such as answering phone calls and interviewing clients.
While the program is geared towards low-income and older populations, people of all ages and incomes are seeking help.
“There are those who have gone through a traumatic event, as identified by them, and are at their wits’ end and have no idea how to do it. It’s a great service and it’s free,” Parker said.