BETTENDORF, IOWA (December 18, 2020) As an unpredictable year comes to an end, many Quad-Cities residents will soon face new uncertainty with the arrival of the 2020 tax season.

United Way Quad Cities is seeking qualified volunteers to help their neighbors prepare taxes January 26 to April 15 through the non-profit’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. The program provides free income tax-preparation services to individuals and households with an annual income of $57,000 or less.

“The coming tax season is likely to be the busiest year yet for the VITA program, and compared to the demand, we are facing a relative shortage of volunteers,” said Rene Gellerman, United Way president and CEO.

During the past two years, volunteers completed nearly 10,000 free tax-returns, helping to bring over $9 million back to Quad-Cities families during that time.

“For the many local families who have lost income and a sense of security as a result of COVID-19 — as well as the 1-in-3 Quad Citizens who struggle to pay for their basic needs — assistance through free tax-preparation is a necessity,” Gellerman said.

Most filers helped through VITA received a tax return, averaging $1,500 per family. This money is often spent locally to boost the Quad-Cities economy.

“Over the course of the program’s 12 years, local volunteers have consistently shown up to deliver this much-needed service to directly improve the financial well-being of our community and strengthen the building blocks of opportunity,” Gellerman said.

Tax Preparers and Greeters Needed

Volunteers are needed to help prepare taxes and greet filers beginning January 26 across ten locations throughout the Iowa and Illinois Quad Cities.

Volunteers do not need previous experience and must be at least 18. Interested volunteers can learn more during one of two information sessions held via Zoom, January 5, noon-1PM, or January 7, 7-8PM.

Training is required for all volunteers and will be held via Zoom during four consecutive days of two-hour sessions, 5:30-7:30PM, on January 11-14.

Drop-off sites will be available for tax filers. All volunteers and sites will be required to exercise COVID-19 protocol for safety.

To volunteer or learn more, contact Melissa Gesing at melissa@unitedwayqc.org.

More information on United Way’s free income tax-preparation services, as well as details on how to schedule an appointment will be made available in January 2021 on www.unitedwayqc.org.

The Quad Cities VITA Coalition is led by United Way Quad Cities, in collaboration with AARP of Western Illinois and AARP of Eastern Iowa.

About United Way Quad Cities

United Way is a community-based social-change organization that puts opportunity in the hands of all Quad Citizens. Working with our determined partners, volunteers, advocates, and donors, we lead the charge to improve education, income, and health the building-blocks of opportunity. The result is a mobilized community where every Quad Citizen is living their best possible life. unitedwayqc.org

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