VITA program helps SWFL residents file taxes for free

Filing taxes can be a bit overwhelming, but a new Southwest Florida based program helps clients breathe easier.

United Way Volunteer Income Tax Assistance is a free filing service available to families and individuals making under $66,000, according to their website.

“In the past I always went to a professional like H&R block and it was more expensive and more time consuming,” client Tama Smith said. “It just makes it so easy and they’re just wonderful people.”

The IRS sponsors the VITA and clients can file their taxes online or make an appointment.

“I can typically do a normal return in 30 minutes or less,” said George Wondolowski, VITA Volunteer.

But there are a few exceptions to the program.

“We typically do not do rental properties,” Wondolowski said. “We do not do very sophisticated barter and exchange agreements if you have a broker. But self-employed people, we do a lot of those.”

The Estero location filed nearly 700 returns last year, with over $900,000 in refunds.

For more information, click here. 

Here are the proposed site locations for 2018:

Bonita United Way House  (Open Feb 5)
26820 Old 41 Rd Bonita Springs, FL 34135
From 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Tuesday

Bonita Springs Assistance Office
25300 Bernwood Dr. Ste. 6 Bonita Springs, FL 34135
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday

Cape Coral –Water’s Edge Church
2213 Country Club Blvd. Cape Coral, FL 33990
5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday

Clewiston United Way House
969 W. Sugarland Highway Clewiston, FL 33440
Call for appointment

Estero/San Carlos United Way House
17592 Rockefeller Circle, Fort Myers, FL 33967
1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday

Englewood – Lemon Bay H.S. (Open Feb. 8)
2201 Placida Rd.  Englewood, FL 34224
4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday

Fort Myers Downtown – City of Palms Park
2201 Edison Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33901 (Entrance on 2305 Broadway, 3rd Floor)
12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday

Fort Myers United Way House – The Heights Center (Open Feb. 5)
15570 Hagie Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33908
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday

Lee County Health Department
83 Pondella Rd., North Fort Myers, FL 33903
3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday
9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday

LaBelle United Way House
133 North Bridge Street, LaBelle, FL 33935
5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday

Lehigh United Way House
201 Plaza Drive, Suite 103, Lehigh Acres, FL 33936
5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Friday
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday

Port Charlotte- United Way Office (Open Feb 6)
17831 Murdock Circle, Suite A, Port Charlotte, FL 33948
4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday

Sanibel-Captiva United Way House (Open Feb 9)
2430-B Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Select Fridays

Reporter:Taylor Bisacky