Free Tax Preparation

An older man in a blue tee shirt at a computer talking to a young man writing on paper.

Tax Deadline Extension Update

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all in-person free tax prep events are currently cancelled. Get online assistance at

The decision to close our in-person sites was based on California Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement that residents isolate themselves, as well as the CDC’s recommendation to cancel any gatherings. On March 16, the White House took that step further by encouraging Americans to avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.


Free Tax Prep Client Survey

Thank you for choosing United Way’s Free Tax Prep services. 

Please take a moment to complete this 16 question survey and tell us about your experience. 



Experience Corps provides strategic support for students
Early literacy program helps children become successful confident readers

When Sal Garcia became principal at Elkhorn Village School in West Sacramento two years ago, he was immediately intrigued with the school’s partnership with United Way’s Experience Corps program.

“Experience Corps very quickly struck me – what a phenomenal way to get kids some additional support,” he said. “I was sold on the program very early on.”


Filing your taxes doesn’t have to be complicated
How United Way volunteers helped one client get his finances in order


Reginald Crisp had years of complicated taxes to sort through when it was time to file his 2018 taxes. A retired state employee, Reginald was trying to get his financial affairs in order when the Franchise Tax Board referred him to United Way’s Free Tax Prep program. When he learned there was a Free Tax Prep site at the Oak Park Community Center near his house, he made an appointment and soon found himself face to face with four women he now affectionately refers to as the Four Amigos. 

Post Citi Community Development

Get your taxes done for FREE starting January 21
In-person or online options still available

Free Tax Preparation

Save money and file your taxes for FREE.
Let our IRS trained professionals help file your taxes for free. 

Households throughout the Sacramento region that earned $60,000 or less in 2019 or prior years can still receive free tax help in-person from United Way’s Free Tax Prep program.  

See if you qualify for valuable state and federal tax credits by using FREE tax return filing services:

In person at a Sacramento area tax preparation site (if your household income was $60K or less in 2019). See tax preparation site locations and dates listed below. How to Schedule an Appointment

Call 2-1-1 or toll free 800-500-4931 to schedule your free tax preparation appointment. See the list of locations below for your closest Free Tax Prep site in your neighborhood.

Find Free Tax Prep Summer Locations


I Didn’t Spend a Dollar Filing My Taxes This Year and Neither Should You
Here’s how I saved $300 this tax season.

Like thousands of Americans, each year I spent hundreds of dollars to go to a stuffy, windowless office to get my taxes prepared – to determine the all-important question, would I owe the government money this year?  Since this is such an important task, I was willing to make the costly investment to ensure that everything was processed correctly. I am a young professional, only out of college a few years now, and I don’t have a ton of money to throw at government forms that I, in theory, should be able to do myself. It wasn’t until last year when I started here at United Way and after I filed my 2017 taxes did I hear about our Free Tax program. Previously, I had been working part-time jobs and finishing up my education to make ends meet and the payment I used for the filing alone could have helped. My story isn’t unique, for many households, the large cost of paying for filing make a difference in their finances, something that could instead go into savings or pay off burdensome debt. This year, knowing that I qualified,* wouldn’t let that happen again this year.

So, I went online to make an appointment at where you can decide if you want to file in person or online*. You could also schedule your appointment by calling 2-1-1.  Since this is my first time filing my taxes alone, I wanted to make sure that it was correct, so I opted to do it in person with the Free Tax Prep volunteers. I saw that there was availability for a Tuesday at 11 a.m., set the appointment, and started collecting my paperwork.


Free Tax help available to residents across Sacramento Region through United Way, Supported by Citi Community Development
 Free Tax Help kicks off at community event on Feb. 2

Households throughout the Sacramento region are eligible for free help preparing their taxes and claiming credits this year, saving an average of $200 in preparer fees and often earning thousands of dollars in credits. United Way California Capital Region’s Free Tax Prep program, supported by Citi Community Development, kicked off at a community event on Feb. 2  at Grant Union High School in Sacramento.


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 helped another 1,066 users file taxes with an average refund of $1,185.

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.


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.

Square One Project
Jennifer Minett

Volunteer Spotlight
VITA: Jennifer Minett

Jennifer Minett had a lot of tax questions.  With every answer she received, led to another question.  After showing interest in understanding the nuances of tax law, coworker Diana Clay, VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Coordinator, recommended that she take a free tax education course that certified her to do her taxes like a professional.  Now three years later, she has dedicated every tax season as a VITA volunteer helping others like her once before, needed an extra hand with their finances.


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.