CENTER FOR FINANCIAL EMPOWERMENT

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

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CENTER FOR FINANCIAL EMPOWERMENT

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

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Why pay to file your taxes when you can file for FREE?

Using VITA you can keep the money you’ve earned.

Make a Tax Prep Appointment
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What is VITA?

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to individuals who file simple returns and generally make $54,000 a year or less. The program is also available to persons with disabilities and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals throughout the County of Los Angeles. This program is sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Why should I use VITA?

SAVE MONEY

When you use VITA, you’ll save hundreds of dollars without sacrificing quality.

FEWER ERRORS

According to experts from Prosperity Now (formerly the Corporation for Enterprise Development), the VITA program has a tax return accuracy rate of 94% and a far lower error rate than many self-and paid-tax preparation services.

IT'S EASY

It’s as easy as making an appointment! Our staff will answer your questions and guide you through the process.

TAX CREDITS

Our IRS-certified tax preparers will see if you are eligible to claim refundable tax credits such as those below.

You may qualify for these tax credits!

Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC)

You may qualify for a refundable federal and/or state income tax credit(s). These cash-back tax credits* give back money to low-moderate income working individuals and families. Eligibility and amounts for cash-back tax credits depend on your income, household size, filing status and residency. Many people who qualify for the credits and are eligible for up to $6,000 fail to simply file taxes because they make below the required income threshold. According to CalEITC4me, every year California leaves $2 Billion of unclaimed EITC money on the table.

To learn more about the federal EITC, click below to visit the IRS website.

IRS Earned Income Tax Credit

California Earned Income Tax Credit Expanded

The California Earned Income Tax Credit is known as CalEITC. CalEITC is a cash back tax credit that puts money back into the pockets of California’s working families and individuals. In 2016, the maximum qualifying income for CalEITC was $14,161, and people who worked for themselves could not receive the state credit. The 2017 CalEITC rules increase the income eligibility threshold for families with any number of children to $22,300. The annual income limit for adults without children will increase from $6,717 to about $15,000. Mirroring eligibility for the federal EITC, CalEITC also will be available to income-eligible self-employed workers.

For more information about the CalEITC, visit the Free Tax Prep website.

Free Tax Prep website

Child Tax Credit

This credit may reduce your tax by up to $1,000 per qualifying child depending on your income.

For more information and to determine if you are eligible, visit the IRS website below.

IRS Child Tax Credit

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What if I don't have a Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number?

All taxpayers without a social security number must have a valid ITIN in order to file taxes. Click the button at right to learn more information on how to apply.

How long will it take to receive my refund?

Paper checks mailed by the IRS can take several weeks to process.

Direct deposit into your checking or savings account is the fastest and easiest way to receive your refund. This way your money also stays safe in your account until you need it. Just remember to bring your account and routing number to your tax preparation appointment. You can choose to deposit all or part of your refund into a checking or savings account.

Don’t have a checking account? We can help!

Bank On Los Angeles County is a program lead by the County of Los Angeles Center for Financial Empowerment (CFE), to connect L.A. County residents with safe and affordable financial products. To learn more about the benefits of having a checking account, click below.

You can only claim a tax credit if you file a return. We can help you file for FREE!

Please note: The sum of the filer’s tax credits must be greater than the amount of the income tax they owe in order to receive a “cash-back” refund (payable to the filer).

Call 800.593.8222 to speak to a representative to get more information or to schedule an appointment or visit the website to find a county of Los Angeles VITA site and make an online appointment.

Schedule an Appointment

How can I find out if I qualify for VITA?

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program offers free income tax preparation/assistance to taxpayers whose gross income is $54,000 a year or less.

Call DCBA at 800.593.8222 to see if you qualify.

The IRS “Free File” program offers free tax prep software to file your own return if you earn $64,000 a year or less. If you make $64,000 or more, you can receive free fillable forms to help with your tax return.

IRS Free File

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