Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

What is VITA?

VITA stands for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and is a nationwide IRS program that offers FREE tax help to people who generally make $53,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. United Way Silicon Valley partners with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), churches, nonprofits and other local organizations to offer tax help at more than 40 VITA Tax Assistance sites across Santa Clara County. Tax preparation services are provided by trained, IRS-certified volunteers in a number of languages. All locations are IRS authorized e-file providers.

Who qualifies for VITA?

Generally, any working U.S. citizen or legal resident who has a valid Social Security or ITIN number AND a combined household income less than $53,000. However, Married Filing Separately returns are not able to be prepared at any VITA site. IRS-certified VITA volunteers are trained to prepare basic Forms 1040EZ, 1040A, 1040 with Schedule A, B, limited Schedule CEZ, C and California State Income Tax returns.

Where can I find a list of VITA sites?

Starting in January and running through the tax season, please visit 211scc.org/VITA for a list of VITA sites and their dates/hours of operation. That list gets updated daily before and during the tax season with information about every VITA site in the County. You can also dial 2-1-1 to speak to a live Call Specialist who help you get information about the site that is closest to where you live or work.

Keep in mind that sites are designated as either Walk-in or Appointment:
(Walk-in sites operate on a first-come first-served basis. Appointment sites offers assistance by appointment.)

Items to bring:

  • Photo ID (like a passport, driver’s license, state ID) for self AND spouse if married (Required)
  • For married filing joint, BOTH spouses must be present (Required)
  • Social Security Cards or ITINs for all members going on the return, including spouse and all dependents (Required)
  • Proof of Income - W2s, 1099s, cash income, disability year-end statement (SSA, VA, insurance, etc.), interest income, etc.
  • Proof of Expenses - Childcare expense statements (including provider address and tax ID number), medical expenses, property tax bills, etc.
  • Last year’s tax return, if available (Recommended)
  • Checkbook with routing number and account number for direct deposit refund (Recommended)
  • If you are missing a form that you will need to file your taxes, please call the IRS helpline toll-free at 1-800-829-1040 for information on what you need to do or how to obtain replacement documents.

Now You Can File From Home

United Ways across California have a free, online option so that you can file your taxes from the comfort of your own home. Income limit of $60,000 for free federal and state e-filing.

Click here to begin: myfreetaxes.org

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