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For the 11th year in a row, United Way of the Quad-Cities and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, are partnering to help Quad-Citians with tax preparations.

The free program connects area residents with IRS-Certified volunteers who offer free tax preparation services. The program is available to those with a household income of $57,000 or less. 

In 2018, VITA volunteers helped 6,400 Quad-Citians receive a total of $5.2 million in federal income tax dollars. 

"With one in three Quad-Cities families struggling to meet their basic needs, United Way focuses on financial stability as one of its three impact areas," said Rene Gellerman, United Way's president and CEO. "VITA is giving Quad-Citizens the boost they need to make their dollars go further to provide needs like food, shelter and transportation for their loved ones.”

Locally, more than 170 IRS-certified and trained volunteers help drive the annual assistance program. Gellerman said local VITA volunteers gave 9,500 hours last year helping families, on average, receive a nearly $1,500 tax return.

Janene Finley, associate professor of accounting at St. Ambrose University, is among a core group of VITA volunteers — working more than 11 years and training 300-plus students to help complete tax returns as VITA volunteers.

"There are two things I hope students get out of the experience. Real-world experience and an appreciation for how much they have to be thankful for," she said. 

Appointments now are being accepted at 15 VITA locations throughout the Quad-Cities. 

For an appointment at any of the locations, call 2-1-1 or 563-355-9900. Appointments are being taken through April 12 or until sessions are full.

For more information, contact 2-1-1 or visit unitedwayqc.org/vita.

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