Daily News

VOC Offers Free Tax Preparation to Eligible Residents

CHICOPEE — Valley Opportunity Council (VOC), which manages the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program providing free tax preparation to those of low and moderate incomes, began its 2024 tax preparations this week.

VITA in-person tax preparation appointments are available through May 15 at 35 Mt. Carmel Avenue, Chicopee; 300 High St., Holyoke; and, new this year, 20 Lathrop St., West Springfield. To schedule an appointment, call (413) 612-0206. Those eligible for the VITA program must live in Massachusetts with an income of up to $60,000. Appointments are available on weekdays, evenings, and Sundays.

Certified volunteer tax professionals help qualified individuals prepare and file basic state and federal tax returns and prior-year returns. VOC also offers free electronic filing of tax returns, allowing for individuals to receive their refunds much more quickly than with paper filings.

The core mission of VITA is to assist low- to moderate-income taxpayers in satisfying their tax responsibilities and minimize financial hardships, in turn saving taxpayers thousands of dollars in filing fees.

In 2023, VOC helped 743 individuals file their state and federal tax returns through the VITA program. VOC has been providing the VITA program for 25 years in the communities of Chicopee, Holyoke, and, more recently, Westfield.