An average of 55 percent of households across Northwest Louisiana are struggling to make ends meet. In response, United Way of Northwest Louisiana (UWNWLA), in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service, promotes the annual free tax preparation options available to the public. These programs, sponsored in part by Capital One, help relieve the financial burden of tax preparation fees for thousands of local households.
Now through April 17, nine local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) sites will be open to the public. The VITA program offers free tax help to people who generally make $60,000 or less, persons with disabilities, and limited English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. Volunteer tax preparers are IRS certified with extensive hours of training. They are trained to do simple returns with W-2 and 1099 forms (no itemized or business taxes). Partner VITA locations include churches, community centers, independent living facilities, and more. These sites are available in Bossier City, Coushatta, Minden, and Shreveport.
“VITA is a simple solution to save money on a service that could cost hundreds of dollars,” said UWNWLA Vice President of Financial Stability Rashida Dawson. “We encourage residents to take advantage of this free resource and keep more of their hard-earned money. The money saved by taking advantage of the VITA program could help create asset-building opportunities for working families, such as establishing a sustainable saving.” During the 2021 tax season, 3,956 returns were completed, and taxpayers saved over $1.08M in preparation fees. In total, these free tax preparation programs issued taxpayers $4.08M of federal refunds.
If qualifying residents prefer to file their own taxes, they can also use MyFreeTaxes.com. MyFreeTaxes.com is a safe, easy, and free way for taxpayers to file both their federal and state taxes. United Way has partnered with TaxSlayer, which powers MyFreeTaxes.com, to help people easily and accurately file their taxes online.
The following locations will operate as a VITA site during the 2023 tax season. Most sites are by appointment only, so please call ahead for hours of operation and to set up an appointment.
2023 VITA LOCATIONS
Now through April 17
Barksdale Air Force Base – MILITARY
(Priority for Active Duty)
2nd Bomb Wing Tax Center, Barksdale AFB 71110
Caddo Community Action Agency – Lakeside
1729 Ford Street
Shreveport, LA 71101
Caddo Community Action Agency – David Raines
1625 David Raines Road, Shreveport, LA 71107
Caddo Community Action Agency – St. Vincent
4055 St. Vincent Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71108
Creighton Hill VITA Site
510 High Street, Minden, LA 71055
Highland Center Ministries VITA Site
520 Olive Street, Shreveport, LA 71104
Open: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 10 A.M. to 6 P.M.
Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church VITA Site (Operated by: Sadies Arms, Inc. )
5340 Jewella Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71109
New Horizons Independent Living Center
1701 North Market, Shreveport, LA 71107
By Appointment Only: Monday – Friday, 9 A.M. to 3 P.M. (Closed Good Friday)