From the Archive: Volunteer Jeraldine Hunter-Gaddes, former IRS employee, helps people with free tax preparation

United Way, the Earned Income Tax Credit Alliance (EITCA) and Volunteer Income Tax Assitance (VITA) volunteer Jeraldine Hunter-Gaddes has worked to help people with taxes for the last 23 years.

Hunter-Gaddes, a former IRS employee, is the program’s mobile site coordinator, contacting companies and organizations around the Mid-South to see how EITCA and VITA can best provide free tax assistance for people in our community. Working out of the United Way office, she helps individuals and companies schedule appointments for free tax assistance.

Jeraldine Hunter-Gaddes

“When I go and visit companies, I bring sign-in sheets. People needing tax preparation help can sign up and set appointment dates and times, which lets us know when it’s best to provide the service,” she said. 

Hunter-Gaddes also helps VITA volunteers with training, including how to process Disaster Recovery Claims. She said many people need to know that if they have been in a Federally-declared disaster area and lost belongings, it’s a good idea to file a Disaster Claim.

“Some taxpayers may need help after tax season, and we are trying to get a year-round program to help those who may have deliquent taxes, or a balance due and need to set up payment arrangements,” she added.

Hunter-Gaddes says hopefully taxpayers will use the free help provided at EITCA/VITA sites instead of spending money to get their taxes filed.

“We’re encouraging people to save the money they would normally spend for tax preparation fees,” she said. “There is a new system in place so people can get their refunds on a VISA debit card. Some taxpayers spend all their tax money and soon they are broke once again.”

For more information, or to set up an appointment at an EITCA/VITA site near you, please call 901-433-4361.

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