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Appointments open for VITA program

January 16, 2019
By MEGHAN BRADBURY ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

Appointments are now being accepted for the 2018 Federal Tax filling through Lehigh Community Services.

Lehigh Community Services Executive Director Carolyn Peplow said last year the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) did more than 800 returns in Lehigh bringing back $1.1 million in tax refunds to the Lehigh area.

"It's the fifth year in a row that we brought back a million dollars in Lehigh," she said.

The number of tax returns go up every year, recently from 701 to 849 due to the increase in VITA volunteers every year, Peplow said.

The volunteers are IRS certified.

"We have a really good team of volunteers. They take tests and are certified with the IRS to do taxes," she said.

VITA services will be available at Lehigh Community Services, 201 Plaza Drive, Ste 3, beginning Saturday, Jan. 26. The service is free and available to individuals and families making $66,000, or less.

"They have to bring all the necessary documents. We tell them what to bring," Peplow said of when they call to make an appointment. "We do appointments in the evening through the week and all day Saturday. We try to work with people's schedule."

Appointments can be made by calling (239) 369-5818.

The service will be available through April 15. Peplow said they also do a lot of extensions for those who are not able to make the deadline.

"We stay until everyone is taken care of," she said.

In addition to the VITA program, they have a woman who does taxes year round through appointments.

They also encourage individuals to split their refunds in half and put it into savings, so they are not spending it all.



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