When Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas’ Mobile Resource Bus rolls into some of our rural communities over the next couple of months, there will be a new service on board – free income tax help for families in need.

“The IRS has emphasized that the rural communities have very limited resources for tax support,” explains Amelia Reyes, MSW, Director of Asset Development. “As a result, some get behind and don’t file their taxes, or if they do, they miss out on important tax credits because of a lack of awareness.”

So this year, Catholic Charities is taking its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program on the road with stops in Emporia, Holton and Osage City now through April 10th. In addition, the program continues to be offered at Emergency Assistance Centers in Atchison and Leavenworth, and has now expanded to include Lawrence.

Through VITA, IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to those who make $55,000 or less or persons with disabilities who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. Last year, through Catholic Charities’ VITA program, 238 tax returns were filed, generating refunds totaling $326,637. There was also a total savings of $41,412 in tax preparation fees, based on an estimated average cost of $174 per tax return.

“VITA enables low- to moderate-income individuals and families to maximize their refunds and avoid unnecessary fees,” adds Reyes. “More importantly, the program helps them increase their financial stability.”

For Catholic Charities’ VITA locations and schedules, visit: https://catholiccharitiesks.org/taxes-filed-free-vita/