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LUMBERTON, NC (4/18/2022) – Lumber River United Way is celebrating a successful Volunteer
Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.  The 2022 tax season was the inaugural year for our new VITA program.  This IRS linked program is designed to assist taxpayers in the preparation and e-filing 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.

Our original goal was to serve 50 taxpayers.  We served 84 taxpayers from Bladen, Hoke, and
Robeson Counties.  We secured over $103,000 in refunds for our taxpayers and saved people over
$12,000 in preparation fees.  In total, the economic impact for our first year was over $115,000.
Tax clinics were held at industries in the area, Lumbee Tribe facilities, the Agricultural Extension
offices, and libraries along with the Lumber River United Way office.

People served by county:  Robeson: 46, Bladen: 14, Hoke: 4, out of service area: 12 and 4 taxpayers
had their taxes prepared elsewhere after starting the process with us, and 4 were no longer required to file returns.  We prepared 2020 and 2021 returns for two taxpayers.  By race, 42% of the participants identified themselves as African American, 25% white, 18% Native American, 3% multi racial, 1% Latino, and 11% declined to answer.

Given the success of the program, we are looking forward to the 2023 tax season.  We are hoping to
recruit local folks to volunteer as tax preparers along with expanding our number of tax clinics and
participants.  We would love to see an economic impact of $250,000 next year. 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 four foundations for building better lives: Health, Education, Financial Stability, and Basic Needs/Crisis Services.

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