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DES MOINES, Iowa — Every year, the Internal Revenue Services estimates that millions of Americans make mistakes during the tax filing process. The Central Iowa United Way is working to make sure Iowans stay off that list.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) offers free tax preparation services for central Iowans who earned $58,000 or less in 2014.

“I think that they would be scrambling to find someone to do their taxes. These people really need their tax refund,” said Holly Sagar, VITA Project Manager.

VITA tax sites help lower-income central Iowans take advantage of child care tax credits and the earned income tax credit, the nation’s largest anti-poverty program for people who work.

“Our average client makes $19,000 a year,” said Sagar.  “It’s nice, that we know what our clients use their taxes for. They buy their kids new coat. They get caught up on rent. They pay utility bills.”

United Way’s sites are staffed by 250 volunteers who pass IRS training and certification. United Way expects to complete 5,500 returns by the April filing deadlines.
Last year, they filed almost 6,000 tax returns. They have locations set up all across central Iowa.