What is a VITA site?
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is a national IRS program that offers low-to-moderate income families free tax preparation services, mostly through the hard work of volunteers. The IRS partners with community organizations and coalitions such as Earn It! Keep It! Save It! Bay Area to operate VITA sites throughout the country during tax season. Each volunteer is required to certify and pass an exam. All VITA sites are subject to follow IRS Quality Requirements to prepare basic accurate tax returns.
What is the EITC?
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), sometimes called the Earned Income Credit (EIC), is a refundable federal income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families. For 2011 tax year, the maximum income threshold for qualification to receive the EITC is $49,078. However, a couple with 3 qualifying children may be eligible for a credit amount up to $5,751 depending on their tax situation and if they have income somewhere between $13,000 and $24,000 (this is just an estimate). For eligibility information, visit one of our 200+ free tax locations.
What is an ITIN?
The ITIN is an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) that is assigned by the IRS to people who are considered residents for tax purposes, but they do not have a Social Security Number (SSN) or are undocumented. The ITIN allows a person without an SSN to file taxes under their ITIN year after year. The ITIN application can be complicated and requires a person provide documentation of foreign status and identity. The ITIN application must be submitted by mail with a tax return. Many of the EKS tax sites will assist people with this application and file their taxes. Call 2-1-1 for specific locations.
Where can I get my taxes done?
Earn It! Keep It! Save It! can help you locate free tax sites in your community. Tax sites are located throughout 7 Bay Area counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Solano. To find a location near you, click here or call 2-1-1.
What is the difference between EKS free tax sites and a commercial paid preparer, such as H&R Block?
Having your taxes prepared at an Earn It! Keep It! Save It! tax site is free! At a commercial paid preparer, a taxpayer can pay up to $300 (or more) in tax preparation and loan fees. These fees come out of your refund. You will still have your return prepared correctly by a trained and certified volunteer if you come to an EKS site. Our volunteers go through extensive training with materials provided by the IRS. Training includes how to ensure all tax returns are prepared accurately.
How fast can I get my tax refund?
If you file your return electronically (e-file) at one of our free tax sites and have your refund directly deposited into your bank account, you can receive your refund in 7 to 10 days. You will need your bank account number and routing number. Be sure to bring a voided check with you!
What materials do I need to bring when I get my taxes done?
How can I volunteer?
Check out the Volunteer page here in our website, review the positions at a tax site and training required then sign up! An Earn It! Keep It! Save It! representative will contact you with information on the training required and potential tax sites that meet your needs!