WHAT IS VITA?
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is a national program staffed by local volunteers to provide free preparation and electronic filing of tax returns. It’s an important service to thousands of individuals and families in this county with low-to-moderate incomes who are eligible for tax credits.
Virtual VITA tax preparation and filing
In partnership with Code For America and Prosperity Now, United Way of Racine County is offering VITA tax preparation and filing virtually through getyourrefund.org. This online platform will allow you to complete a questionnaire and submit your documents online to a participating VITA program. Certified VITA volunteers will then assist you throughout the tax filing process.
What can you expect when you use GetYourRefund?
1) you will be asked a series of questions
2) you will upload your tax documents
3) schedule an interview and review call with a certified IRS preparer, and
4) submit your signed return through email.
WHAT TO have ready
- Current photo identification (driver’s license, state ID or student ID).
- Social security cards or ITINs for you, your spouse (if married) and any dependents you are claiming.
- If filing joint, both taxpayers must be present. Returns cannot be completed until signed by both taxpayers.
- All wage and tax statements, including the following forms:
- 1095-A if you receive health insurance through the Marketplace.
- Any other tax document(s) you’ve received.
- Bank information for direct deposit (routing and account number).
Homestead credit is available to Wisconsin residents with an income under $24,680. Submit your property tax bill or rent certificate and social security benefits (including federal and state SSI, SSI-E, SSD and caretaker supplement payments), Wisconsin Works payment documents and child support amount received from the year you are filing.
Who is eligible for VITA's services?
Appointments with VITA's trained volunteers provide federal and state tax preparation for Racine County residents.
Homestead- or state-only returns can only be completed as drop-off returns when sites are active. You can visit any active site during its operational hours to drop off documents for preparation, and we will notify you when they are ready.
VITA's services are available for returns from 2016 onward.
Taxpayers who claim rental income or file as married filing separate are not eligible for VITA's services at this time.
IN-PERSON VITA SITES CLOSED
Due to precautions related to COVID-19, all VITA sites are closed. Taxpayers with an appointment will be notified via the contact information they provided (phone, text, email) that their appointment is canceled.
INFORMATION ON IRS STIMULUS PAYMENTS
Click HERE for up-to-date information from the IRS on the Economic Impact Payments and to see if you need to take any additional action.
The IRS has just launched an official website where non-tax filers can now safely and legitimately file their Emergency Impact Payment information to make sure their address and bank information (if any) is up to date. This website is: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments
- Go to: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments This is the only safe way to register or update your information with the IRS to make sure you receive your full relief payments in a timely manner.
- Treat all other websites as SCAMS. No one from the IRS will call, text, or email people to get their personal information.
- Individuals who may file online now include people who did not file a tax return in for tax year 2018 or 2019, which could include:
- Low or no-income households
- Supplemental security income recipients
- Veterans receiving VA benefits
- Individuals receiving social security retirment, social security disability insurance, or railroad retirement benefits - only if they have dependents under age 17 in order to claim the $500 per dependent payment amount.
- Individuals who need to wait yet to update their address and/or banking information:
- Those who did file taxes for tax year 2018 or 2019
- Those who receive SS, SSDI, or RR benefits and do not have dependents
BECOME A VITA VOLUNTEER
As a VITA volunteer, you can make a difference in the lives of Racine County residents. Multiple volunteer positions are available:
- Greeters/screeners welcome tax filers to the VITA site and make sure that tax filers have all the information needed to complete their tax returns.
- Bilingual interpreters work alongside clients and preparers to interpret their conversations.
- Tax preparers are the backbone of the program. They must complete training and certification at a basic level. Training is web based, free, and can be completed on your own time, at your own pace.
- Site coordinators and assistant site coordinators ensure that VITA rules and regulations are followed at every site and assist the site's volunteers and clients. Requires advanced certification and additional training.
Have other questions about VITA?