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Volunteer tax service program begins Feb. 3

VALPARAISO — The United Way of Porter County Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program is now accepting appointments for the 2020 tax season.

This free tax preparation service is open to individuals whose adjusted gross income is $56,000 or less. IRS-certified volunteers will assist program clients to file state and federal tax returns.

“This program provides a vital safety net service for low-wage earners and others struggling to make ends meet,” said Kim Olesker, president and CEO of United Way of Porter County. “We truly appreciate the volunteers who serve and the community support we receive to make this program possible.”

Program participants may also qualify for special tax credits depending upon circumstances. One such credit is the Earned Income Tax Credit. Individuals who worked in 2019 and earned less than $55,592 may be eligible to claim this credit.

United Way will be hosting a special Earned Income Tax Credit day from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Jan. 31. Residents are invited to walk in to learn more about filing their taxes through this free tax prep program.

Program appointments begin Feb. 3 and run through April 13. Appointments are available Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and some Saturdays.

Participants must schedule an appointment to use the service. Beyond meeting the income threshold criteria, additional documents and information may be required. For program requirements and to make an appointment, visit unitedwaypc.org/vita.

Booth spaces available for Earth Day celebration

The Porter County Recycling and Waste Reduction District is now accepting applications for booth space at the Northwest Indiana Earth Day Celebration.

It's from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at the newly renovated Porter County Expo Center. If your organization promotes an environmental message, offers environmental education, or sells or demonstrates products or services that help the environment, you can be a part of the largest Earth Day celebration in Northwest Indiana.

This year marks the 50-year anniversary of Earth Day in the United States, and this one-of-a-kind celebration hosts 2,000 visitors for an afternoon of environmentally-themed family fun featuring activities, workshops, contests, and a food court.

Nonprofit booths start at $35; business booths start at $65. Set-up times are available the day prior to the event or two hours before.

Vendors and nonprofits can register at www.portercountyrecycling.org.

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