The Southeastern Utah Association of Local Governments (SEUALG) has an Earn It, Keep It, Save It Utah VITA program that offers free tax preparation, as well as e-filing, for low to moderate-income families and individuals with an income of $60,000 or less.
SEUALG’s Colton Judd spoke on the program in their March newsletter, explaining that the program is partnered with the IRS in training and certifying volunteers to be able to file returns. IRS-certified volunteers work to prepare and file federal and state tax returns for free. They also ensure that taxpayers receive all the tax credits in which they are entitled, including Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
Clients that wish to file their own taxes are also welcome to do so by visiting www.MyFreeTaxes.com or clicking here to find the nearest site to them. The program has partnered with many to bring this opportunity to fruition.
Partners consist of Utah State University (USUE) and the university’s Extension program, RUCD Head Start, Carbon County, Carbon County Circles, the Navajo Nation and American Express.
Data released from the IRS for the 2022 tax season shows that VITA was able to assist with 453 tax returns, compared to 387 in 2021. This is a 117.05% increase. From those returns completed, 173 received the EITC. The total Earned Income Credit for the Southeast Region equaled $313,305 and the VITA program was able to get a total of $935,135 to customers.
Another beneficial program offered to the community by SEUALG is the Home Energy Assistance Target (HEAT) program, which assists low-income individuals and families by providing supplemental benefits toward their utility bills.
SEUALG’s Lenissa Jimenez explained that the HEAT program is now accepting applications for FY 2022-23. Beginning in Oct. 2022, the season runs through Sept. 30 of this year. Eligible families will be able to receive one benefit per program year. The SEUALG HEAT program processed a total of 3,228 applications for the 2021-22 year.
Of those applicants, 42 were able to receive a crisis payment that prevented a disconnection of gas, electric or water. In total, $59,277 was allocated toward these crisis payments and the HEAT program also issues two supplemental payments to all households that had approved applications for that year.
Those that are interested may apply here, by mail or by a phone appointment. To schedule a phone appointment or obtain more information, call (435) 613-0100.