United Way’s VITA program to provide free, essential tax assistance to residents 



Public encouraged to take advantage of in-person, online free filing services


NEW ORLEANS – United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA) – in partnership with Entergy Corporation, the Asset Building Coalition and Capital One – is amplifying its commitment to the financial well-being of the community through its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites offering free person-to-person and virtual tax preparation services to low- to moderate-income individuals, including persons with disabilities, older adults and limited English-speaking taxpayers.

IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals who generally make $63,398 or less. The volunteers ask the needed questions to find out if a taxpayer qualifies for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and other refundable credits. They also prepare and e-file (file electronically) returns at no cost and more accurately than paid preparers.

“EITC is a tax benefit for working people and their families, allowing more dollars to flow into our community,” said Michael Williamson, UWSELA President and CEO. “If you qualify for the EITC, you must file a tax return to claim the credit, even if you have no taxes to pay. You earned it. Now file, claim it and get it.”

VITA sites help households receive 100% of eligible credits and refunds to cover expenses and build emergency savings. In 2023, the VITA program returned over $9.1 million to Southeast Louisiana residents. 

Free tax preparation assistance will be provided through April 15 at 18 conveniently located VITA sites – both in-person and virtual – across Southeast Louisiana. Residents can view the sites at UnitedWaySELA.org/VITA. 

VITA sites are open with flexible hours, including appointments, drop-offs and walk-ins. Appointments are encouraged and required at some locations.

For filers needing an online option, MyFreeTaxes.com offers free federal and state tax preparation with no income limits for individuals or families. As the only free, national, online tax filing product offered by a nonprofit, MyFreeTaxes has been extended to over 100 million U.S. taxpayers as part of United Way’s commitment to the financial stability of every person in every community.

“This tax season, United Way’s focus is on ensuring the public saves their hard-earned dollars with free, expert tax preparation services. Let’s make sure every dollar stays where it belongs – in the pockets of those who need it most,” added Williamson.




About United Way of Southeast Louisiana

For 100 years, United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA) has been a leader and trusted partner in improving lives and making a lasting difference. We fight to eradicate poverty by preparing people for quality jobs, growing incomes, and affording better health and education opportunities throughout Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington parishes. We have a bold vision of equitable communities where all individuals are healthy, educated, and financially stable – and we have a plan. United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s Blueprint for Prosperity guides all strategic investments in programs, initiatives, collaborations, volunteerism, and advocacy aimed at tackling poverty. For more information, please visit UnitedWaySELA.org. Find us on social: @UnitedWaySELA.