New Philadelphia, Ohio - The United Way of Tuscarawas County is helping residents get the most out of their refunds with a volunteer tax filing program.

President and CEO Robin Waltz says they’re partnering with the United Way of Greater Stark County to offer expert tax services at no cost to Tuscarawas County residents through the Volunteer Tax Assistance (VITA) program. She says this program is being offered for the first time in Tuscarawas County.

“We had been wanting to participate in VITA. This past year we had been talking about it, and also talked to the IRS about having this program locally and found out we could partner with Greater Stark County, who’s been doing it for probably three years and has had great success, so we’re just really excited to be able to offer it in Tuscarawas County,” she says.

Waltz says the service is available by appointment and facilitated by a team of specially-trained volunteers at the OhioMeansJobs Center in New Philadelphia. 

“We did put the word out late last year to our residents who would like to become tax preparers, and we received quite a few volunteers, and so they went through a basic tax preparation [course], and many of them went on to advanced tax preparation. This was all done through the IRS and Ohio Benefit Bank,” she explains.

Waltz says the program is available to residents who made $65,000 or less last year and couples with joint incomes of $95,000 or less. She says people can visit their website or call the United Way of Greater Stark county to find out if they qualify and schedule an appointment.

“If residents are interested in participating in this program, they can call 330-994-VITA, or that’s 8482, or they can check out our website, and that’s Go to our events page, and then you can click on the VITA program and look at the criteria as far as participating,” she says.

Waltz says people who use the service generally get their refund back in 7 to 10 days with direct deposit. 

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