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VITA Returns Lower Due To Affordable Care Act Penalties

Ken Teegardin

The United Way's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program pairs low-income families and individuals with volunteers who file their tax returns for free.

This year, they prepared about 6,400 income tax returns in the Quad Cities, bringing back a total of just over $6 million, or $1,600 per return.

Scott Crane, president of the United Way of the Quad City Area, says while the number of total tax returns was higher than past years, the dollar amount returned was slightly lower. 

Crane says in addition to saving people an average of $150 in tax preparation fees, VITA helps people get the money they're entitled to. 

If they file on their own, people might be unaware of the tax credits they qualify for, such as the earned income tax credit or child care tax credit.

This year, about 20 percent of VITA volunteers were Augustana College students.