On the heels of tax day, the United Way of Broome County, Broome Department of Socials Services and Family Enrichment Network say the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program returned over $2.5 million in combined federal and New York State tax refunds to local residents.

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The “VITA” program provides free tax assistance to low to middle income households.

Volunteer preparers help those bringing in $66,000 or less income to do their taxes with special focus on tax credits like the earned income, child tax and elderly credits that are often overlooked.

Officials say in the just concluded tax season, one-thousand 540 households contacted the 211 Susquehanna River Region Contact Center to set up appointments to do their taxes.

The service found $2,647,432 in tax refunds with an additional savings of close to $403,000 in tax preparation costs for residents.

The VITA tax preparers are students and individual volunteers who undergo rigorous training and examinations to become IRS certified.