Sunday, July 21, 2024

United Way of Northwest Louisiana Announces 2024 VITA Sites for Free Tax Preparation

by David Specht

Shreveport, LA – United Way of Northwest Louisiana (UWNWLA), in collaboration with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and supported by Capital One, is facilitating free tax preparation services to alleviate the financial burden for households across Northwest Louisiana. As part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs, seven local sites will offer free tax help to eligible individuals and families from now until April 15.

VITA services cater to individuals earning $64,000 or less annually, persons with disabilities, and limited English-speaking taxpayers needing assistance with their tax returns. Trained and IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers will offer assistance with simple tax returns, including forms W-2 and 1099, with no itemized deductions or business taxes handled.

Rashida Dawson, Vice President of Financial Stability at UWNWLA, emphasized the importance of VITA in helping residents save on tax preparation fees. “VITA is a simple solution to save money on a service that could cost hundreds of dollars,” she said. “We encourage residents to take advantage of this free resource and keep more of their hard-earned money.”

During the 2023 tax season, the VITA program prepared 3,997 returns, resulting in taxpayers collectively saving over $1.09 million in preparation fees. Furthermore, taxpayers received more than $4.63 million in federal refunds through various VITA sites, including those at Barksdale Air Force Base, Flexible Spending Account, and the American Association of Retired Persons.

In addition to VITA sites, residents have the option to file their own taxes using, a platform provided by United Way in partnership with TaxSlayer, enabling safe and free online tax filing for federal and state taxes.

The 2024 VITA locations and their contact information are as follows:

  • Barksdale Air Force Base – MILITARY (Priority for Active Duty)
  • Caddo Community Action Agency – David Raines
  • Caddo Community Action Agency – St. Vincent
  • Creighton Hill VITA Site
  • Highland Center Ministries VITA Site
  • Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church VITA Site (Operated by: Sadies Arms, Inc.)
  • New Horizons Independent Living Center

Most sites operate by appointment only, so individuals are advised to call ahead for hours of operation and to schedule an appointment.

The VITA program aims to empower individuals and families by providing them with financial stability and asset-building opportunities, ultimately contributing to the economic well-being of the community.

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