United Way of Central Texas Offers Free Tax Assistance

Free Tax Assistance – Partnership

United Way of Central Texas (UWCT) has partnered with First Heroes National Bank to provide free tax preparation services to the Fort Hood community through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

United Way of Central Texas Building (Photo: United Way of Texas)

The VITA program is an IRS-certified program that provides basic income tax return services without charging any amount to tax filers.  VITA is also ensuring that 100% of a participant’s tax refund goes directly back to them. Although United Way of Central Texas has been providing this service to the Central Texas community every year, it is the first time that the service is accessible on the installation in partnership with First Heroes National Bank. Both organizations intend to maintain this partnership every year, according to Fort Hood Sentinel.

According to Veshell Greene, Vice President of Resource Development with United Way of Central Texas, they did over 1,000 tax returns last year, amounting to $1.8 million in refunds back to the community, with a 98% acceptance rate. The program allowed them to touch different communities, which is the main purpose of why the program was created.

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Eligibility and Requirements

Anyone who has admission to the installation can sign up for an appointment at the First Heroes National Bank location. The appointments for tax preparation are available between 12 and 4 p.m. every Tuesday, from now until April 18.

However, to qualify for this service, you must have a household income of $60,000 a year or less. Filers who prefer to use this assistance are required to bring the following documents:

  • photo ID
  • social security card (for you, your spouse, and all dependents)
  • W-2s
  • checking/savings account statement with bank routing numbers (if you want a direct deposit of tax refund)

If you are married filing jointly, your spouse must be present at the appointment to sign all papers, or power of attorney paperwork must be presented.

How to be a Volunteer

United Way of Central Texas is also inviting volunteers to help provide tax assistance services. Each volunteer is required to go through an IRS certification program to provide tax preparation services, including a 16-hour training course for anyone interested to be a tax preparer at different levels such as beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. Volunteers like Denise Bullard, who served as a soldier and is now retired, find the program rewarding.

It is important to note that VITA sites are available in Temple, Belton, Killeen, and Harker Heights. Anyone can schedule an appointment by visiting the United Way of Central Texas website or calling 254-778-8616.

The program aims to help Soldiers and their families save money by providing them with free tax preparation services. The program helps to ensure that Soldiers don’t have to spend money on services they can get for free.

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