Vanessa's Story: VITA

Vanessa had never before heard of United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. As a single, 50 year old, Lancaster County resident working two part-time retail jobs, she has both filed online and paid to have her taxes done in the past. Like many others, Vanessa paid upwards of hundreds of dollars to have her taxes done locally. She recalls going to a local tax preparer and paying what she describes as an “outrageous” amount, even calling afterwards to complain about the amount.

Vanessa heard about the free tax preparation program from other residents while living at the YWCA. She called United Way’s community help line, 2-1-1, to schedule an appointment at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lancaster City, one of VITA’s many locations. After having her taxes done by Bob, an IRS-certified volunteer tax preparer, Vanessa found out she qualified for the Earned Income Tax Credit—receiving a $381 refund!

“My experience was great! The preparer (Bob) was really nice. Yes, yes, yes… I will recommend this service to my friends, family, and neighbors!”