Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

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Free Tax Preparation for Residents Making Less Than $60,000 in 2016

Thanks to a United Way of Charlotte County program now in its fourth year, middle- and low-income families have a free resource for tax preparation, one that could mean additional money in their pockets.

Through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA), IRS-trained volunteers will process tax returns for Charlotte County families. An individual income below $60,000 is the only qualification for the free service. Scheduled appointments are required. Call 941-627-3539 to reserve an appointment at one of two locations – Port Charlotte and Englewood. No walk-ins will be accepted.  

Many families are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which can be earned even if a worker did not pay any federal income taxes. The credit received is an amount based on a sliding scale which also takes into account the number of dependent children in the family.

Carrie Blackwell Hussey, executive director of the United Way in Charlotte County, saw the need for this service and contacted colleagues in Lee County to serve as advisers during the program’s first year. The program was embraced by Steve Vito, former president of the United Way board and Southwest Florida regional president of SunTrust Bank, who serves as the volunteer coordinator.

“I could not be more proud of the SunTrust volunteers and other community members who step up to participate in the program,” Vito said. “By the end of the program each participant will have committed more than 100 hours of personal volunteer time to make this program work,” he added. SunTrust and Fifth Third Bank are VITA sponsors.

You can also prepare your taxes online yourself by visiting www.myfreetaxes.com/swflorida.


  • Social Security card(s) - original copy
  • Valid photo ID
  • Copy of last year’s return, if available
  • Proof of bank account and routing number for direct deposit (a VOIDED check suffices)
  • Medical, dental and child care expenses
  • All wage and earning statements (W-2, W2-G, 1099-R, SSA-1099, etc.)
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (1099-INT, 1099-DIV, etc.)
  • Any other tax related forms (tuition, mortgage interest, charitable contributions, etc.)