Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program

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Sacramento region claims more than $10 million during the 2017 tax season through free tax prep programs

Nearly 7,500 households in the Sacramento area took advantage of United Way-led in-person free tax programs for the 2017 tax year, resulting in more than $10 million in money claimed through refunds and credits, including the Earned Income Tax Credit. The free tax prep program, also known as the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program,  helped 7,422 local households during the recent filing season. United Way’s MyFreeTaxes.com helped another 1,066 users file taxes with an average refund of $1,185.

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Get your taxes done for FREE
Spring and summer appointments available for late filing

If you missed the April 17 filing deadline, you can still save your hard-earned dollars and see if you qualify for valuable state and federal tax credits. A handful of appointments are available this spring and summer for late filing. 

  • In person at a Sacramento area tax preparation site (if your household income was $54K or less in 2016). Schedule appointments by calling 2-1-1 (916-498-1000). See tax preparation site locations and dates listed below. 

*Call 2-1-1 or (916) 498-1000 to schedule your appointment.  The appointment line is open 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday. 

Get your taxes done for FREE
In-person or online options available

See if you qualify for valuable state and federal tax credits by using one of these two FREE tax return filing services before Tuesday, April 17, this year’s tax filing deadline.

  1. In person at a Sacramento area tax preparation site (if your household income was $54K or less in 2017). See tax preparation site locations and dates listed below.
  2. Online at MyFreeTaxes.com (if your household income was $66K or less in 2017). The website sponsored by United Way and powered by H&R Block software saves users an average of $200 in tax preparation fees. All you need is a valid email address, your adjusted gross income (AGI) from the previous year, and your income forms such as a W2, 1099, 1098, etc.

To schedule your free tax preparation appointment, call 2-1-1 (for Sacramento county residents only) or (916) 498-1000 or visit www.freetaxhelp.usIf there is a specific phone number listed with a site below, please call that number directly to schedule an appointment.

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Wait to file in 2018 by using free tax prep services
Educate your households on waiting until 2018 to file their taxes for free

Many paid tax preparers offer early filing services in November and December, even before workers have their official tax filing documents. With holiday pressures coming up very soon, it is tempting for many to use these services to get their refunds early.

Paying for early filing may feel painless, as many of our low-to-moderate-income families get large refunds out of which the paid preparers take the filing fees. But as we know, a couple of hundred dollars more can make a big difference for people living an emergency away from financial crisis.

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The IRS must hold refunds for tax returns claiming EITC or ACTC until February 27

Beginning in 2017, if you claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) on your tax return, the IRS must hold your refund until February 27. This new law, approved by Congress, requires the IRS to hold the entire refund — even the portion not associated with EITC or ACTC.

This change helps ensure that you receive the refund you are owed by giving the agency more time to help detect and prevent fraud.

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Sacramento region claims more than $6 million during the 2017 tax season through free tax assistance programs

Nearly 6,000 households in the Sacramento area took advantage of United Way-led free tax programs for the 2016 tax year, resulting in more than $6 million in money claimed through the Earned Income Tax Credit, other credits and refunds, and lack of tax preparation fees. The in-person Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, led by United Way California Capital Region in this area, helped 4,863 local households, and United Way’s MyFreeTaxes.com helped 1,011 users file taxes with an average refund of $1,654.

United Way Hero

Meet VITA Volunteer Javier Romero
Helping people one tax return at a time

The success of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is not possible without the tremendous support of our VITA volunteers. They go through countless hours of training, dedicate their weekday and weekends to filing returns, and help families save hundreds of dollars in tax preparation fees. While most volunteers have been filing their own taxes for years, Javier Romero began helping individuals and families long before he had to file his own taxes.

Sponsors

Thank you to our VITA sponsors and partners

A big thank you to the companies and organizations that make our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) work possible. Their financial contributions are helping local residents save money for the things that matter most and receive credits like the state and federal Earned Income Tax Credits.

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About Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program is national and offers free help to people who make a limited income and need help preparing their tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic tax return preparation with electronic filing. Volunteers inform taxpayers about special tax credits for which they may qualify such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled. VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations.

Locally, United Way California Capital Region and our partners offer myfreetaxes.comto help local residents save money during tax season.