Skip to main content

Free Tax Preparation

Collaborative Partners 2018

 
In its 14th year, United Way's Free Tax Preparation Program (a.k.a. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA) offers FREE tax help to people who make $66,000 or less. We know that taxes can be complicated, and other tax preparation services can cost upwards of $400. Let us help you file your taxes for free!
 
IRS-certified volunteers will prepare your taxes for you at no cost. Our Free Tax Prep Program focuses on making sure families access the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit, and other credits important to young children and their families with low income. 
 
Since its inception, our Free Tax Program has helped save local families more than $3 million in filing fees and costs, as well as securing $47 million in refunds and valuable tax credits for tens of thousands of families.
 
 

Why use United Way's Free Tax Prep?

Trained
Certified by the IRS, our volunteers go through rigorous training and extensive testing to make sure tax returns are prepared correctly and are submitted securely.

Fast
Tax returns are filed electronically through United Way’s Free Tax Preparation Program, ensuring quick turnaround times for receiving refunds, and at no cost to the taxpayer.

Free
Did you know that, when you pay for a rapid refund, you are actually taking out a loan? Sometimes those loans charge you up to $400 in interest, in addition to the up-front fees! We provide a free alternative to other places that charge you a high fee to get your refund. Why pay for tax preparation when you can get it done free? You earned it—it belongs in your pocket!
 

How does it work?

IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified families and individuals. This year, we are providing help for:

Families and individualswalk-in, in-person tax prep: Primarily serving families with young children, walk into a tax site and ask about open time slots. First come, first served basis with no guarantee of availability. Wait times will vary.  Returns are prepared on the hour, each hour sites are open. Please arrive 10 minutes before the hour to check in.

OR

File online for FREE with myfreetaxes.com! This user-friendly, quick, and easy tool allows you to file your taxes online on your time. See all eligibility requirements below.

When do tax sites open?

United Way of Snohomish County’s free tax preparation sites open the week of Jan. 20, 2020 (see our list of site times below for details). Staff will be on site that week to begin preparing tax returns for walk-ins.

More on IRS' website.
 

I want to get my taxes done! What do I need to know?

Snohomish County Hours and Locations

Below are the hours and locations for each of our tax sites:

Edmonds/Lynnwood
Edmonds Community College
Mountlake Terrace Hall, Room 206
20000 68th Ave. W, Lynnwood
Jan. 21 - April 13
Mon. & Thurs., 5 - 7 p.m.*
Fri., 2 - 5 p.m.*

Everett - Goodwill
South Everett Goodwill Job Training & Education Center
210 SW Everett Mall Way, Suite D, Everett
Jan. 20 - April 15
Mon., Tues., & Wed. 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.*

Everett - United Way
United Way of Snohomish County
3120 McDougall Ave., Suite 200, Everett
Jan. 27 - April 12
Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.*

Everett - The Village
The Village
14 E Casino Rd., Bldg. D, Everett
Jan. 23 - April 14
Tues., Thurs., & Sat., 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.*
 

*  Last client of the day will be taken at time of close.

Visit United Way of King County's website for information on sites in King County.

Will I still be able to talk to someone about my taxes?

Yes! IRS-certified Tax volunteers will be at each of our tax sites. You may also leave a message at 425.374.5519 and our tax program coordinator will respond with answers to your questions.
 

Do I qualify for Free Tax Prep through United Way?

You are eligible if you earn $66,000 a year or less; you did not earn income from rentals or military; you didn't have any business losses; and your business expenses totaled less than $25,000 in 2019.
 

Do I qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit?

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable tax credit issued by the federal government to lower-income taxpayers. To claim the EITC, the IRS requires that you earn regular income from a job in the form of wages, tips, commission and salaries. While the EITC is able to help many people, many who qualify for this credit, do not claim it.

2019 Tax Year Adjusted Gross Income Limits for the Earned Income Tax Credit
Earned Income and Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) must each be less than:
 
If Filing... No Children One Child Two Children  Three or More Children
Single, Head of
Household or Widowed

$15,570

$41,094 $47,703 $50,162
Married,
Filing Jointly
$21,370 $46,884 $52,493 $55,952
 

What documents do I need to bring with me to the tax site?

We cannot prepare your return unless you bring ALL required documentation. 

  • If filing jointly, both filer and spouse must be present to file electronically.  
  • Picture ID REQUIRED. Must be government-issued (e.g. driver's license, military ID, Medicare card)
  • Social Security card or ITIN number and dates of birth for everyone on your return REQUIRED.
  • W-2s or other income statements for you and your spouse from ALL your employers.
  • Form 1095-A, -B, or -C if anyone on your return had health insurance for any part of 2019. REQUIRED.
  • Any 1099 forms (for income from interest, dividends, retirement, social security, or unemployment).
  • Name, address, and taxpayer identification number of childcare provider, if you pay for childcare.
  • Records of student loan payments. 
  • Records of payments for educational expenses, such as college tuition.
  • Mortgage interest and property tax statements, if you own a home.
  • Bank account number for direct deposit.

A copy of last year’s tax return, if you have it.
 

How long will filing my taxes take?

All walk-ins have the option for in-person tax preparation on a first come, first served basis. Wait times vary, and space is limited based on availability.
 

What if I can't make it to a location during tax site hours?

You may file for free any time online at www.myfreetaxes.com. Or, visit another tax preparation site near you that has different hours. Visit www.uwsc.org/taxhelp for complete information on site locations and hours.

AARP and United Way of King County also offer free tax preparation services, in-person and by appointment. Visit their website links for more information. 
 

I want to volunteer! How can I help?

Visit www.uwsc.org/vitavols for more information and sign up today!
 

What kinds of things would make me ineligible for Free Tax Prep through United Way?

We cannot provide help for:

  • Taxpayers with income above $66,000 in 2019
  • Taxpayers with rental income or royalties
  • Taxpayers involved in partnerships
  • Taxpayers who are business owners that had over $25,000 in business expenses in 2019
  • Married Filing Separately filing status
  • Military income
  • Moving expenses
  • Foreign or international income

 

I want to check the status of my refund. How do I do that?

Once your return has been filed, you can check your refund status with the IRS' Where's My Refund tool.
 

I need a copy of a previous year's return. Where can I get one?

Obtain a copy from the IRS.
 

Additional Tax Help

Need help outside of tax season?
The IRS provides information on a wide range of tax topics, including interactive tax assistance that helps with most questions on their Interactive Tax Assistant page on the IRS' website.

Having trouble resolving an issue with the IRS?
Contact the Local Taxpayer Advocate Service (nearest in Seattle) at 206.946.3707. More information on what the Taxpayer Advocate Service helps with can be found online here.

Have an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number)?
You may need to renew it! If you do not, it may present problems with filing your tax return in 2020. Get a head start by referencing the press here:

What are your rights as a taxpayer?
Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. Explore your rights by reading the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Want to stay updated on the tax law changes coming in 2020?
Visit the Tax Reform webpage on the IRS website to find out what will be changing.

Questions?

Contact info@uwsc.org.
 

Want to Volunteer?

Contact uwsctax@uwsc.org or leave a message at 425.374.5519 and someone will get back to you.