VITA

What is Vita?

VITA is the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and consists of a group of volunteers that fill out tax returns (for free) for lower income individuals and families. In 2023, the Coastal Bend VITA Coalition completed over 2,700 returns. Taxpayers were able to have the peace of mind that their tax returns were completed correctly for free.  The refunds processed have a big impact on both families and our economy throughout the Coastal Bend.  We would love to serve more families this year.

IRS website on VITA: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/free-tax-return-preparation-for-qualifying-taxpayers

Where is VITA

This semester there will be 4 sites throughout the Coastal Bend.  For the fifth year in a row, we will have a site on campus.  Beginning February 2, volunteers will be in Room 135 of the Michael and Karen O’Connor Building on campus Fridays from 2-6 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 1-6 p.m.  The site on campus is intended to help students, faculty, staff, and the military stationed at the Naval Air Station. In order for all 4 sites to be successful and help as many families as possible, we need more volunteers.  Here are the locations, days, and times for all four sites in the area:

  • Del Mar College, Heritage (East) Campus
    • 101 Baldwin Blvd – Venters Business Building, 2nd floor
    • In-person: Tuesdays and Thursdays 2-6 p.m.
    • Opens January 30
    • Closed the week of March 13
  • Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
    • 6300 Ocean Drive, O’Connor Business Building, Room 135
    • In-person or drop-off: Fridays 2-6 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays 1-6 p.m.
    • Opens February 2
    • Closed March 17-19 and Easter Sunday
  • United Way of the Coastal Bend
    • 4659 Everhart Road
    • Drop-off only: Tuesdays and Thursdays 9 a.m.-Noon
    • Opens January 23
  • Goodwill Industries of the Coastal Bend
    • 4135 Ayers St
    • Drop-off only: Mondays and Wednesdays 5:30-8:30 p.m. and Saturdays 1:30-4 p.m.
    • Opens January 29
    • Closed March 13-18

Note: Site locations, hours, and service options can change without notice.  Please see www.uwcb.org/vita for the most up-to-date information.  Sites will be operational through April 15.  Volunteers can work at any site as their schedule allows. There is no limit to how many hours you can volunteer, but anyone volunteering at least 20 hours will receive special recognition from the IRS and the VITA Coalition of the Coastal Bend.  

Who can Volunteer and What do they do?

Anyone who gets certified to volunteer can volunteer – you don’t have to be an accounting major.  The IRS encourages volunteers to get an “advanced” certificate for flexibility at each site.  I know many are apprehensive about volunteering and being responsible for someone else’s tax return but volunteering with VITA does not mean you have to fill out a tax return. Volunteers serve many roles – greeting taxpayers, making sure they have the necessary documents, filling out tax returns, and reviewing tax returns to name a few.  There is a high school in Laredo, TX that completes as many tax returns as we do throughout the Coastal Bend VITA Coalition.  If you do fill out a tax return, please know you will never be solely responsible for filling out a tax return; all tax returns go through a review process, and help will always be nearby. 

How can we get certified?

There are several resources to self-study for certification, but the IRS has created interactive learning modules at https://apps.linklearntaxescertification.com/authn/register?next=%2F for those who want to get involved now.  For more detailed instructions please reach out to Ginger DeLatte at ginger.delatte@tamucc.edu.