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Free Tax Assistance

Please do not come to the United Way office until you have received all your tax forms. This includes tax documents from all sources of income you received in the 2020 tax year (W-2, 1099-MISC, etc.). For example, if you had more than one part-time job, please wait until you receive tax documents from all of them (or follow up with your respective employer) before coming to get your taxes done.

If you arrive without ALL your tax documents, photo ID, or Social Security cards, we WILL NOT be able to prepare your taxes for you. You will have to get the missing forms and schedule a new appointment for a later date.

 

What should I bring to get my taxes done?
You need to bring (if applicable)
  • Photo identification (valid, unexpired state ID, driver’s license or passport) for yourself, and for your spouse if filing together – REQUIRED FOR EVERYONE
  • Social security card or ITIN for yourself, your spouse, and each family member on your taxes – REQUIRED FOR EVERYONE
  • Birth dates for everyone listed on the tax return – REQUIRED FOR EVERYONE
  • W-2 forms for every job you had last year, if you had a job in 2020
  • 1099 (retirement, interest, dividends, pensions, or miscellaneous income) form, if you received them
  • 1098 (mortgage interest) forms if you have a mortgage, you should receive this from your mortgage company
  • 1095A-Health Insurance Marketplace form if you purchased health insurance through Healthcare.gov
  • Economic Impact Payment (EIP) Notice 1444 (the $1,200 per person paid earlier this year) or bank statement showing deposit amount.
  • Social Security Benefit Verification Statement for 2020 (available online from Social Security Office www.ssa.gov ).
  • Documents for any miscellaneous income such as gambling, jury duty, etc.
  • 1098-T Tuition Statement form from your college/university.
  • 1098-E Student Loan Interest form for interest paid on student loans. 
  • Childcare receipts along with providers address and tax ID number.
  • Property Tax receipt if you own your home.
  • A voided check if choosing direct deposit.
  • Last year’s tax return (helpful if you have it).
  • Other relevant information about your income and expenses.

What is the Volunteer Tax Assistance (VITA) program?

  • The VITA program has operated for over 50 years, offering free tax help to people who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. This includes people whose income was $57,000 or less and who will be filing a simple tax return.

Do I qualify for free tax help?

If your 2020 income is below $57,000 we can help file your taxes for free. However, there are some kinds of taxes we can’t do, including:
  • Business with employees, inventory, depreciation, or expenses for use of your home
  • Rental income
  • Sold property
  • Sold stocks

What if I want to do my own taxes?

What if I don’t have a Social Security Number (SSN) or card?

You need a valid Social Security Card or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to file your taxes. 
  • If you have a Social Security Number (SSN) but lost your card, visit the Social Security Website (www.ssa.gov) on how to get a new card.
  • If you aren’t eligible for a Social Security Number (SSN), you should apply for an ITIN. Visit www.irs.gov for more information.

Who will help me with my taxes?

  • VITA Volunteers are trained in tax law and income tax preparation, and each one is certified by the IRS.  This training includes maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of all taxpayer information. In addition to requiring volunteers to certify their knowledge of the tax laws, the IRS requires a quality review check for every return prepared at the VITA site. We are here to help, and we make sure you get all the refunds and credits you qualify for.

Is it really free?

  • Yes, it really is free.

When will I get my refund?

  • If you choose direct deposit to receive your refund, you will probably see it in your bank account in about 2 weeks. However, mailed checks take more time to show up. You can track your refund status at www.irs.gov/refunds 
  • The IRS expects the first Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) / Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards by the first week of March, if they chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with their tax return. 

Can I file tax returns from other years at the United Way of Adams County site?

No.

What steps are you taking to protect clients and volunteers from the COVID-19 virus?

  • No walk-in service. All tax prep appointments are by appointment only.
  • No admittance without an appointment, no exceptions.
  • Face masks are required for clients and volunteers at all times.
  • Curb-side service during the drop-off and pick-up processes.  Clients will remain in their vehicles and communicate with tax preparers by phone.
  • No children or guests are allowed inside the building.

What is the process to drop-off my tax documents this year?

  • Arrive at the United Way office on the date and time of your scheduled appointment, with all your tax forms completed (listed below):
  • Consent to Use Form (MUST FILL OUT)
  • Consent to Disclose Form (MUST FILL OUT)
  • Virtual VITA/TCE Taxpayer Consent Form 14446MUST SIGN (This gives us permission to prepare your return without you present).
  • Intake/Interview and Quality Review Sheet: IRS Form 13614-C. (If signed, your information will be pulled forward the next year for ease of tax preparation at any VITA site).
  • Call the posted phone number and we will come out to your car to gather your documents.
  • A tax preparer will call you to discuss any questions about your tax forms while you wait in your car.
  • We will scan your tax documents while you wait in your car and return the originals to you.
  • We will process your tax return during the following week and notify you when your paperwork is complete.

What is the process to pick-up my tax documents this year?

  • When your taxes are complete, we will call or email you and schedule an appointment. Do not come to the office until your scheduled appointment time.
  • A joint return requires both spouses to be present for pick-up and signatures.
  • Bring your ID and Social Security/ITIN cards to the appointment.
  • Please bring your original tax documents to the appointment.
  • Arrive at the United Way office on the date and time of your scheduled appointment and call the posted phone number.
  • We will bring the tax forms to you to review in your car.
  • We will call you and review all the forms together, answer any questions, and make sure the tax return is accurate.
  • Sign your return. We will keep one copy of your federal/state e-file authorizations in order to electronically file your return.

Will the United Way offer financial education classes this year?

  • The United Way of Adams County is also proud to offer financial education classes in partnership with Members First Community Credit Union. These free 1-hour long classes are meant to provide real-world information to help individuals manage and control their finances. You can sign up for a class when you pick up your completed tax documents from the United Way office.

Important links to know:

  1. Virtual VITA/TCE Taxpayer Consent Form 14446, MUST SIGN (This gives us permission to prepare your return without you present).
  2. Intake/Interview and Quality Review Sheet: IRS Form 13614-C. (If signed, your information will be pulled forward the next year for ease of tax preparation at any VITA site).
  3. 4836, VITA/TCE Free Tax Programs
  4. 4053, Your civil rights are protected
  5. Publication 1, Your rights as a taxpayer
  6. 1546EZ, Taxpayer advocate service
  7. Consent to Use Form
  8. Consent to Disclose Form


Do you know anyone who has claimed unemployment this year?

 Download the 'Did You Receive Unemployment Benefits?' flyer

As of April 2020, over 23 million Americans filed for unemployment, and 1 out of 4 Americans received unemployment this year. We need your help to reach these individuals and make sure they know that unemployment is taxable income. We do not want them to be caught off guard when filing their tax return next year.

VITA Volunteers prepare returns with:

  • Earned Income Credit (EIC)

  • Child & Dependent Care Credit

  • Education Credit

  • Wages including unemployment & Social Security

  • Mortgage Interest

  • Property Tax Credits

 

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