Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
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Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
What is VITA?
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to individuals who file simple returns and generally make $60,000 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)
Visit FreeTaxPrep LA’s website to find a county of Los Angeles VITA site and make an online appointment.
The IRS “Free File” program offers free tax prep software to file your own return if you earn $73,000 a year or less. If you make $73,000 or more, you can receive free fillable forms to help with your tax return.
If your household earned less than $57,000, you can file both your federal and state returns for free using MyFreeTaxes.org. United Way has made it available to over 100 million U.S. taxpayers as part of our fight for the financial stability of every person in every community.
Why should I use VITA?
You may qualify for these tax credits!
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 $6,935 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.
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. More Californians than ever before qualify to claim this credit worth up to $3,417. The CalEITC age requirements have now expanded to include all workers 18 years of age and older, including seniors over the age of 65 (previously the age range was 25-65). Tax filers must make less than $30,000 to be eligible. For the first time, ITIN holders qualify for the CalEITC.
For more information about the CalEITC, visit the Free Tax Prep website.
This credit may reduce your tax by up to $3.600 per qualifying child depending on your income.
For more information and to determine if you are eligible, visit the IRS website below.
The YCTC is a new credit that could mean up to $1,083 additional in your refund for parents with at least one child younger than age 6.
See if you qualify here.
The new California Foster Youth Tax Credit (FYTC) is a refundable tax credit available in California for people who were in foster care at age 13 or older and placed through the California foster care system. Individuals must be between the ages of 18 through 25 at the end of the tax year and satisfy foster care verification requirement.
The maximum credit for tax year 2022 is $1,083 per qualifying individual (maximum of $2,166 if both primary taxpayer and spouse/RDP qualify).
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).