Free Tax Prep Available Across Southwest Louisiana

United Way of Southwest Louisiana’s VITA Initiative open for appointments


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Make an appointment for free tax prep by simply dialing 211

LAKE CHARLES, LA, January 9 United Way of Southwest Louisiana's free tax initiative, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), is open for registration. Make appointments for any site by dialing 211 or online at The caller will specify in-person prep or a drop-off and the location of choice for each parish.

VITA is intended for individuals or families earning $67,000 or less. It is designed for low-to-moderate-income individuals, persons with disabilities, senior citizens, and limited English-speaking residents. Those who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) are also eligible for this free service, which IRS-certified volunteers provide.

"During the 2023 tax season, our VITA program saved our tax clients $1,238,750 in fees as we filed 4,955 tax returns," explains Denise Durel, president and CEO of United Way of Southwest Louisiana. "This allowed us to return $4.27 million in refunds to the community—and the budgets of hard-working families."

Making an appointment for an in-person must be done by dialing 211. 9 sites in the five-parish Southwest Louisiana region are open for appointments. An up-to-date list is maintained online at or by dialing 211.

"Almost 22% of families qualified to receive the EITC, and similar credits do not claim it," explains Denise Durel, president and CEO of United Way of Southwest Louisiana. "Our volunteers ensure everyone gets the credits they're entitled to while saving them from costly prep fees or refund anticipation loans."

To prepare your taxes through the VITA system without visiting a site, visit and click the MYFREETAXES link.

United Way of Southwest Louisiana trains VITA volunteers and receives IRS Certification upon completing the program. Volunteers also run the sign-in and other positions at each site. Anyone interested in volunteering at a site near them can visit

Any organization, business, or agency willing to host a VITA site can contact United Way of Southwest Louisiana at 337.433.1088 ext. 210.