Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
VITA or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance is a nationwide program sponsored by the IRS that is available during tax season. Volunteers provide basic tax preparation assistance to individuals and families with a household income of approximately $53,000 a year or less. An alternative program helps you prepare your own taxes, if your income is below $60,000 a year.
This service allows low-income families to file their taxes for free - without expensive tax prep services or predatory refund-anticipation loans. Our VITA program also helps you receive valuable tax credits or programs that you may be eligible for, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and Home Heating Credit.
The VITA Program ensures that low-income individuals receive the maximum refund possible, to meet their own pressing basic needs or save for the future. In 2015, our VITA Program returned approximately $375,000 to our community.
Have Your Taxes Prepared for Free by VITA
Our VITA Program offers a few services:
- Full-service tax preparation: Available by appointment only for households with incomes of $53,000 or less; Thursday evenings and Saturdays, February 4-April 6. Call our VITA line to make an appointment: 734-677-7235.
- Onsite or At-Home Self-Preparation: For taxpayers that do not qualify for our full-service tax prep, those who would like their taxes completed sooner than the first available appointment, those who do not have all of the required documents for our full-service tax prep, or those who prefer to do their own taxes, MyFreeTaxes.com is a free service for individuals with a combined income of $62,000 or less in 2015. Access from any computer with internet access and file your taxes for free. Tax coach assistance is available over the phone, via email and online chat if you have questions or need help during the process. You may also come to United Way and use our computers during the dates and times listed above, or go to www.MyFreeTaxes.com.
- Scan & Go: For qualifying tax clients at select locations. Have your documents scanned and your tax return will be prepared off-site to be picked up by you in one or two weeks.
Volunteer for VITA
No experience is necessary and you certainly don't need to be a tax expert (or even a math expert!) to make a huge impact on lives of those in need. Training and guidance is provided by the IRS and our experienced volunteers, and you'll walk away with more knowledge about how to do your own taxes. Plus, you'll be working with families that need the help. Learn more about the benefits of the role or sign-up to be a VITA Greeter or Tax Preparer. Training will be held in January. Volunteer shifts are February-April 15, and volunteers are asked to commit to a minimum of 3 four-hour shifts. Contact Brian to learn more or to sign-up!