Digital Exclusive: Center For Siouxland seeking VITA program volunteers for 2020 tax season

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – One non-profit organization in Sioux City is in need of volunteers to help them with tax preparations for the upcoming tax season.

The Center For Siouxland is seeking volunteers for their Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, or VITA, for the 2020 tax season.

“The program [is] through the IRS that people who have a lower income than $57,000 in their household. We offer free tax preparation for them, and our volunteers do that for them,” said Ryan Odor, Center for Siouxland.

Ryan Odor, VITA coordinator at the Center For Siouxland, said anyone can volunteer for the program and does not need any prior tax experience.

He mentions if people don’t want to do tax preparation, they can be greeters and schedulers for the program.

“But it’s just great to see all of the people who come in who get our assistance and how generally happy they are that we provide this assistance for free. They don’t have to pay $200, $300, $400 to have their taxes prepared,” said Susan McGuire, a VITA volunteer.

Susan McGuire has been a volunteer for the VITA program for five years. She said all of the volunteers must be trained and pass the certification test to be IRS-certified volunteers.

With training materials, the Center For Siouxland can help volunteers go over filing tax returns and tax laws before they take practice and certification tests. 

“The real test is open-book so you can use your training materials, you can use the test booklet that they give you and you can have all of your answers circled, it’s very user-friendly,” said McGuire.

Odor mentions the program is important because those tax returns equivalates to over $2 million in tax refunds which gets put back into the community.

“We roughly do about 1,500 to 2,000 tax returns every single year through the program so we need those volunteers to be able to sit down and work with those taxpayers that need our assistance,” said Odor.

This year, the VITA program is now appointment only due to COVID-19. The Center For Siouxland will also be offering drop-off and felicitated self-assistance services.

For more information on how to volunteer for the program or to set up an appointment, you can call the Center For Siouxland at 712-252-1861 or go to their website.

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