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Margaret Matsuoka, left, a volunteer in her third year with Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, works with Amanda Rosh, right, who is in her first year as a volunteer. Both Margaret and Amanda help a lady with her taxes that wished to be unidentified on Monday, January 28, 2019.

The United Way of Lancaster County again is offering free tax-return preparation services through the nationwide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

Sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service, VITA prepares at no charge the federal, state and local income-tax returns of households (including individual filers) earning $62,000 in gross income a year or less.

The local United Way has offered the VITA program since 2007. Last year, it served a record 11,000-plus households who received a record $14 million in refunds and saved a record $3 million in tax-prep fees.

The United Way’s VITA program is operating 18 sites staffed by more than 275 volunteers. All the volunteers received 40 hours of training and are IRS-certified.

Locations include a newly created VITA Central at 1380 Harrisburg Pike — a small office park next to a U.S. Post Office. This replaces a VITA office that had been on Janet Avenue.

To schedule an appointment, call 211 or visit FreeTaxPrepLancaster.org. VITA operates Monday through Saturday; evening hours are available. Hours vary by location.

VITA also offers a free online program that allows taxpayers to file federal and state tax returns at MyFreeTaxes.com

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