Our Free Tax Preparation Campaign is an IRS-approved VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program. VITA programs focus on serving low-income populations. The average household using our service in 2016 earned just over $25,000 during the prior year. These families frequently pay $50, $100 or even upwards of $300 for basic tax return filing through paid preparers, and they often miss out on tax credits available to lower income working people including the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credits.
Being a VITA program also means that all of our volunteers receive thorough training and pass tests in ethics and basic tax law topics. Our clients are ensured high-quality service. Our volunteer trainings are held multiple times in December and January, and are designed to get you up to speed, even if you are new to doing taxes.
Each tax site is supervised by a paid Site Manager who supports volunteers and answers their questions, manages the electronic filing of tax returns and follows up with clients when necessary.
- TaxSlayer Practice Lab: Practice with the software, watch training lessons, and view practice scenarios (password for Practice Lab: TRAINPROWEB)
- Publication 4012: Volunteer Resource Guide, updated for the 2017 Filing Season
- Publication 4491: VITA Training Guide, updated for the 2017 Filing Season
- Tax Prep Dispatch: A very helpful resource with articles regarding VITA tax preparation
“Since coming to United Way’s tax site in 2009, I have always received my maximum refund. I love coming to United Way; their services are fast and accurate.”
This year was extra special because Leah filed to become an American citizen through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and was sworn in April 19th. Filing for citizenship is expensive, Leah was able to use her tax refund to help pay for the filing process, and still have a cushion of money for her daughter.
- Completely free electronic or paper filing of federal income taxes
- Open convenient daytime, evening, and Saturday hours
- No appointment necessary
- All returns quality-reviewed by a second volunteer before completion
- On-site asset specialist personnel to assist with public benefits referrals and applications
Benefits for Volunteers
- Gratitude from clients who are saving money and frequently getting significant refunds
- Receive free training in tax topics
- Network with other volunteers
- Receive letter of recommendation and volunteer hours documentation
- Monthly thank-you gifts from United Way
- Invitation to the End-of-Season Celebration for you and one guest
If you have questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Lynsey Gagnon, Impact & Investment Coordinator, at 425.374.5526.