A free Fiesta Fun Tax Education Day, featuring IRS-certified tax preparers, food and music, is set for March 18 in Hardeeville. Spanish speaking interpreters will be on hand to help attendees prepare taxes.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program, a collaboration with the IRS, Beaufort County Human Services Alliance, and United Way of the Lowcountry (UWLC), will host the event from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Hardeeville Recreation Center. The recreation center is located at 285 John Smith Road in Hardeeville.

VITA volunteers and Spanish-speaking interpreters will be on site to prepare federal and state taxes for free and answer tax, financial and immigration questions. 

Representatives will be available from PASOs, Lowcountry Immigration Council, Lowcountry Council of Government’s Agency on Aging and Bluffton Self Help. 

There will also be a food truck, kids’ activities, music and a live broadcast by La Pantera Radio. Everyone is invited to enjoy the Fiesta, and taxes will be prepared on a first-come, first served basis.

Staffed by local volunteers, VITA provides free preparation and electronic filing of income tax returns for individuals and families with annual incomes of less than $60,000; anyone with a physical disability; non-English-speaking citizens; and people older than 60. Last tax season, a team of 49 volunteers saved 1,797 Lowcountry residents more than $450,000 in tax preparations fees alone and placed more than $2.6 million in refunds back into residents’ pockets. 

“Even modest tax refunds can be a significant boost to household budgets,” said UWLC President and CEO Dale Douthat. “By seeking free tax prep assistance from a trusted local program like VITA, Lowcountry residents have the best likelihood of getting their taxes done on time, correctly and hassle-free.”

VITA’s free preparation sites are open through April 15 at 11 locations in Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Colleton and Jasper counties. The sites include Voorhees College in Bamberg County and Blackville Community Development Corporation in Barnwell County; the Beaufort, Bluffton, Lobeco and St. Helena public libraries and The Deep Well Project in Beaufort County; Lowcountry Community Action Agency in Colleton County; and the Agape Family Life Center and Hardeeville and Ridgeland public libraries in Jasper County. After work and Saturday hours are available at some locations.

For more information about VITA services, site locations, dates, times and required documents, visit vitavolunteers.org.