VITA Charity helps with taxes

KNOXVILLE (WVLT) -- If you haven't received it yet, a W-2 form is most likely making its way to your mailbox.

One East Tennessee charity has decided to use tax season as another opportunity to help out the regions less fortunate complete their taxes.

On Thursday, while Love Kitchen volunteers were cooking up food for the needy downstairs, another set of workers were upstairs, busy crunching numbers."

Monday through Friday you'll find dedicated volunteers like Lida Barrett, doing taxes for free through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program or VITA.

"I happen to be a retired math professor and mathematician,” said Barrett. “I think using my skills to do this is probably a better commitment of my time."

Barrett said the goal of group of volunteers was to save folks money, especially the working poor.

"Even a very simple return can run at least $50, and sometimes if there are complications, it can run well over $100," she said.

John Greene, who paid the Love Kitchen accountants a visit on Thursday, said those are prices he could never afford.

“That it's no cost is helpful for me, because I don't make that much money," he said.

According to Greene, this is his fourth year getting his taxes done through VITA.

"It's fairly simple,” he said. “I filled out a form and she asked me a few questions."

In about 3-5 weeks, he'll receive his much-needed refund check.

"I'm going to use some of it to finish paying off my car, and since Christmas wasn't very good this year, it's going to be good later on," Greene said.

"It makes me very thankful for the income I have,” said Barrett.

The VITA program at the Love Kitchen takes walk-ins from 1:00 PM until 6:00 PM.

You can make appointment by calling 865-748-0151

For a list of more VITA sites in East Tennessee, click on the Hot Key.

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