County Seeks Volunteers to Assist Residents with Free Tax Help; Orientation Scheduled for December 20

For Immediate Release: 12/17/2013 County Seeks Volunteers to Assist Residents with Free Tax Help; Orientation Scheduled for December 20 Two volunteer orientation sessions will be held on Friday, December 20 for those interested in assisting eligible residents with free income tax preparation. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) partnership, sponsored by the Community Action Agency, part of the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, helps low-income residents with free tax preparation. Orientation sessions will be held at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Mid-County Regional Services Center, located at 2424 Reedie Drive in Wheaton. VITA volunteers work 16 or more hours a week during tax season, from late January to mid-April as tax preparers, greeters, screeners, interpreters and resource navigators, with flexible hours at convenient locations in East Silver Spring/Takoma Park, Gaithersburg, Rockville and Wheaton. Free training is provided on-site and online, with certification as a tax preparer by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) upon successful completion. The VITA partnership brings together resources from the IRS; the City of Rockville; the City of Gaithersburg and its “Bank On” initiative; Family Services, Inc.; the Maryland CASH Campaign; local nonprofits and volunteers to promote access to high quality, free tax services for low to moderate income residents in Montgomery County. VITA links families with financial education, banking and savings information. “Since January 2013, volunteers helped more than 2,300 Montgomery County families receive more than $4.6 million in federal, state and local refunds and credits through this free service,” said County Executive Isiah Leggett. “VITA volunteers help struggling families preserve their financial resources, helping them pay for essential needs, which in turn, supports local businesses.” “More than 20,000 Montgomery County households are living below the federal poverty level, with many more struggling to make ends meet,” said Walter Woods, chair of the Community Action Board, the County’s anti-poverty advisory group. “VITA volunteers are needed to help them access the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credits, which are proven to reduce poverty.” To volunteer, call 240-777-1123 or email VITA@montgomerycountymd.gov or visit http://volunteer.truist.com/mcvc/org/opp/10494470271.html . Additional “free tax” volunteer opportunities are available through the RSVP/AARP Tax-Aide Program at http://volunteer.truist.com/mcvc/org/opp/10494470271.html, Community Tax Aid at http://www.dceitc.org/volunteer.html and the Maryland Cash Campaign at http://mdcash.org/get-involved/. # # #

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