Free IRS certification training offered for volunteers

Published 8:13 pm Monday, October 23, 2023

United Way of Southwest Louisiana is recruiting local volunteers to assist with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Initiative.

VITA provides tax preparation and electronic filing services at no cost to thousands of families annually throughout the five-parish area. In 2023, VITA volunteers helped prepare 4,955 tax returns. They brought more than $4.3 million to low- and moderate-income residents in the five-parish region. For the 2024 VITA tax season, approximately 200 volunteers will be needed to serve at all planned sites. Learn more online at

VITA provides free tax preparation for the community, especially low- and moderate-income, elderly and individuals with disabilities. An emphasis is placed on helping eligible taxpayers receive the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and save money on tax preparation and expensive refund advance loans each year.

Email newsletter signup

“VITA is one of the most critical Initiatives in our long-term planning arsenal for families,” explains Denise Durel, President and CEO of United Way of Southwest Louisiana. “We can ensure these families can easily and properly access the money and tax credits they are entitled to and help them learn to save for those unplanned emergencies. For some individuals, this is the beginning of saving toward their first big asset purchase.”

Prior experience is optional to become a VITA volunteer. There is no cost for the training, class materials, testing or IRS certification to become a tax preparer at a site. Other volunteer positions at each location in Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jeff Davis parish include site coordinators, greeters, and volunteers. Bilingual volunteers are needed for this upcoming tax season as well. Register online at