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The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is looking for volunteers to be trained and IRS-certified to provide free income tax assistance for low- to moderate-income families in both Humboldt and Del Norte counties. Between Jan. 25 and April 15, local VITA volunteers will prepare tax returns and greet clients during the 2013 tax season.

This may be an excellent opportunity for volunteers to build their resumes, expand financial skills and give back to the community by helping local families. Last year, VITA volunteers helped bring $619,359 in tax returns to benefit hard-working families in Humboldt and Del Norte counties.

Prior experience with tax preparations is not required. Greeters and bilingual interpreters are needed as well and must attend a volunteer orientation session only. Required volunteer training for IRS certification is scheduled for Jan. 4, 8 and 11. Volunteers must be certified by January 31, 2014.

Trained VITA volunteers are expected to give 20 hours between January and April, and the hours are flexible. VITA sites will be available in many different locations in Crescent City, Klamath (to be confirmed), McKinleyville, Arcata, Blue Lake, Willow Creek, Hoopa, Manila, Eureka, Fortuna, Loleta, Ferndale, Rio Dell, and Redway.

Call 2-1-1 or 707-443-8637 at the United Way office in Eureka to sign up as a VITA volunteer.

PHOTO COURTESY OF VITA

From left to right are Merle McDougall, site coordinator; Sandra Rowan, VITA trainer and site coordinator; and Steve Saunders, VITA volunteer.