The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people with moderate incomes, persons with disabilities, the elderly and limited English speaking taxpayers.

Since 2006, the University of Georgia’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences has been collaborating with the Internal Revenue Service and Georgia United Credit Union to provide the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program for the Athens community, as well as other communities across the state.  The VITA program offers free tax return assistance to individuals with low to moderate income and has three main stakeholders: 1) student volunteers; 2) the universities/local organizations; and 3) the local communities. 

  • For the student volunteers, VITA provides a structured learning environment where they can have hands-on application of what they have learned in class. The experience also fosters the development of interpersonal skills. 
  • For the universities and affiliated institutions, VITA provides another mechanism of teaching a broad array of skills ranging from technical skills and teamwork to interpersonal communication and societal issues.
  • Through this experiential learning approach, universities and college also partner with local community entities to provide meaningful services to the community.

Through the partnership with Georgia United Credit Union, community members will not only have their taxes prepared and filed for free, they will also have opportunities and access to savings and lending products that will help put their tax-refund money to work for them. Community members can be confident of receiving assistance in a low-stress environment where their needs and goals come first.

The University of Georgia is working to develop many sustainable and independent partnerships between universities and local organizations to provide VITA services to local communities. On a community-wide scale, we believe that these partnerships will advance the learning and professional development of students while providing communities highly-valued services at no cost.