The volunteer income tax assistance program also known as VITA is an IRS community based program. The tax assistance program uses volunteers to help low income households prepare their tax forms.
"In Okaloosa county we've seen there is a need for this particular program. It's geared to help low and moderate income families and individuals be able to have free income tax assistance and free income tax filing" said University of Florida Extension Agent Elaine Courtney.
Families or individuals who make less than fifty-five thousand dollars a year qualify for the program.
"We know that in Okaloosa County there were 53,976 low income returns in other words individuals and families that will qualify for this" said Courtney.
All they have to do is bring all of their documentation to a vita site and volunteers will prepare their returns for free. Courtney says if every qualified household were to use the free vita services, the total savings would be about six point four million dollars in preparations fees. But the service needs help.
"We're needing volunteers to run this program, it's run by volunteers and so because of that we have a volunteer orientation meeting on Tuesday January the eighth at nine a.m" said Courtney.
Okaloosa's vita program has about twenty volunteers but needs more. A second orientation meeting will be held in the Niceville chamber of commerce board room.
Vita sites will be open from February 2nd until April 15th. For more information log onto www.IRS.gov .