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Lumber River United Way Implements Free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program

For more information contact:

Email Margaret Crites

Lumber River United Way


LUMBERTON, NC (1/25/2022) - Lumber River United Way, serving Bladen, Hoke, and Robeson Counties, is pleased to announce the creation of a new service: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). This IRS-linked program will assist taxpayers in the preparation and e­filing of their federal and state tax returns at no cost to the participant. Taxpayers eligible for this service should have an income below $57,000, be an elder, or have a disability.

Through VITA tax clinics, taxpayers will participate in a brief interview, be assisted in creating an IRS customer portal account, and have their tax documents scanned so that an IRS certified tax preparer volunteer can complete the return. After the return is completed, the taxpayer can either log in to review/sign and have their return e-filed, or they can schedule an appointment to meet with someone to review their return.

E-filing means that the return is processed by the IRS more quickly than a paper return and the refund is issued within weeks rather than months. The IRS is still processing paper returns from the 2021 tax filing season. Also, by utilizing the VITA service, taxpayers will receive their whole refund rather than having a fee, of possibly several hundred dollars, deducted.

The creation of this new program with Lumber River United Way is thanks to an initiative from United Way of North Carolina and has allowed the hiring of a new Community Engagement Program Manager, Margaret Crites. Margaret previously was the Executive Director of the Rape Crisis Center of Robeson County. She brings a wealth of knowledge about non-profits to the position. Of her new work, Margaret says "I'm happy to be in a position of helping my neighbors again."

To learn more about the VITA program or schedule an appointment with a tax clinic, please visit Lumber River United Way's website: or call our office at 910.739.4244.

About Lumber River United Way

We unite to create positive, lasting change for people in need. We are a volunteer-driven organization dedicated to solving the most pressing health and human service needs by assisting people in Bladen, Hoke, and Robeson Counties. We work every day to achieve our vision and mission by focusing on the three foundations for building better lives: Health, Education, and Financial Stability.

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