Lane & Waterman attorneys offer free assistance to low-income taxpayers through VITA
Ask Sam Skorepa, Lane & Waterman partner, what he does on Thursday nights during tax season, and his answer might sound different from your typical 30-something attorney. Three hours of his Thursday nights are spent at Davenport’s Friendly House assisting with free tax preparation for low-income taxpayers through the United Way of the Quad Cities Area’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. During those three hours, he helps file three to four returns. Along with his two colleagues, Kyle Day and Tim Gulbranson, also attorneys at Lane & Waterman, and other community volunteers, they can file up to 25 returns a night from the Friendly House site. Sam, a native of Rock Island, enjoys giving back to the Quad Cities, even with a busy work and family life.
He says, “It’s not always easy to get to the Friendly House by 5 pm and I know that it’s time I’m not putting in at the office or with my wife and daughter. But the gratitude of the individuals that we help makes it completely worth it.”
Kyle offered similar sentiments, adding that as a tax attorney, he sees it as an extension of what he does at work, and a meaningful contribution to the community. “This will be my third year participating in the United Way’s VITA program, and I’ll continue to do so. It is a great opportunity to team with clients, colleagues and other community members to help families save costs on tax preparation so they can use their dollars to put food on the table and save for the future instead.”
The program, nationally sponsored by the IRS with the United Way of the Quad Cities facilitating the local efforts, is open to families with household earnings less than $60,000 with valid social security numbers and investment income less than $2,650. Tim, who recently joined Lane & Waterman in August as its newest associate attorney, is a first-time volunteer preparer. “As a new resident of the Quad Cities, VITA is a great opportunity to assist those in our community that may not have either the expertise to prepare their own taxes or the ability to hire a professional to assist them. I’m excited to be a part of it.” VITA volunteers all undergo a training and certification process in order to serve; no prior tax preparation experience is required.
Lane & Waterman is proud of Sam, Kyle, and Tim’s service to VITA and all of their community endeavors. Service is core part of who we are, which is demonstrated through the many nonprofits our attorneys support and our robust pro bono program. To learn more about our community outreach, visit: https://www.l-wlaw.com/our-firm/community-involvement/.