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    Posted June 7, 2006

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VITA Program Thriving in Orlando

The Orlando Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) prepared 67 returns in 2006, with a few still pending after filing extensions, reports Doug Legan, a member of the Equity Liaison Committee who oversees the VITA program in Central Florida.

The program just completed its ninth year in Orlando and the first time it offered state and local return preparation, thanks to software provided by the New York VITA office. According to Pam Galbraith, Assistant Business Rep, who works with union members at Disney World, "When explaining union benefits to new performers under the Disney/Equity contract in Central Florida, the VITA program consistently generates the most response from those deciding whether or not to join Equity. Others will retain their member status just to continue having their taxes prepared by Equity. It's a very important benefit provided by the Union."

Preparation for tax season begins in February when the Central Florida Liaison Committee sponsors its annual forum, Preparing for Tax Preparation, open to all Equity members, as well as members of sister unions, to discuss what makes actors' taxes different and how to organize business deductions.

This year's volunteers were Jacob Haines, Philip Nolen and Doug Legan, all veteran preparers of the past several years. Jackie Dames, Administrative Assistant in Equity's Orlando office, coordinates appointments.

Click here for more VITA information (Members Only)

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