Tax refund illustration isolated on white background

The United Way provided tax preparation services to nearly 4,800 low-to-moderate income households completely free of charge in Lee, Hendry, Glades, Okeechobee, and Charlotte Counties for the 2017 tax year.

Refunds to those using the free service totaled approximately $6.5 million, a 15 percent increase over last year.

United Way Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is a free tax filing service. It helps provide financial stability to working individuals and families making $66,000 or less. This year, 170 volunteers were trained and certified in partnership with the IRS this year and served at United Way Houses and various locations during the tax season.

Appointments are still available to file a 2017 return at the Estero-San Carlos, LaBelle, and Lehigh United Way Houses. Those who prefer to file on their own can do so free of charge at MyFreeTaxes.com.

The United Way will be recruiting volunteers to serve again this year.  They need volunteers as tax preparers, greeters, and interpreters for the 2018 tax year over the next few months. Volunteers will complete free classroom and online tax preparation training and certification using the TaxSlayer software.

To join, visit www.unitedwaylee.org/become-vita-volunteer.