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The original item was published from 8/14/2020 3:43:03 PM to 9/12/2020 12:00:02 AM.

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Posted on: August 14, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Orange County VITA Program Recognized for Innovation

VITA Volunteer with Client

Orange County Department on Aging is proud to announce that the Orange County Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) has received national recognition for innovative services.

VITA has been providing free income tax preparation services to low and moderate-income taxpayers for over 25 years. The program was recently recognized by the Internal Revenue Service for its innovative work continuing to assist taxpayers during the past extended tax season.  

Like many services, this program and its 75 volunteers were forced to stop providing in-person assistance in mid-March due to the Coronavirus outbreak. But instead of simply shutting down, the program immediately transitioned to a virtual program, providing taxpayers the opportunity to electronically send in their tax documents and allowing volunteers to work from home to complete tax returns beginning April 1. 

As the program leaders saw an ongoing need to help those without the technology to participate in this Virtual VITA program, they started a second innovative program in June which allowed taxpayers to drive up and drop off their tax documents, returning a week later to pick up the completed returns. 

Through the ongoing commitment of the program leaders and volunteers, Orange County VITA was able to assist an additional 350 taxpayers in meeting the July 15th filing deadline. 

To learn more about the Orange County VITA program, visit www.orangecountync.gov/ocncvita or contact the VITA program coordinator, Jeanne Chamberlin.

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