About Us

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, better known as VITA, was adopted by the United Way of Merced County in 2012.  This program offers free tax help to people who generally make $56,000 or less, persons with disabilities, and non-English speaking taxpayers. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.

 Since 2012, we've brought millions of dollars back into the local community and have helped thousands of people prepare and file their income tax returns. We have multiple sites throughout the county that are ready to help you.



The tax help is FREE! -- Paying to have your taxes prepared can cost $200-$300 on average and for many hard-working families in Merced County, that price is out of reach. Households earning less than $56,000 can qualify for free tax preparation through the VITA program, which means more of your refund stays in your pocket instead of going towards unnecessary fees!

Refunds help the local economy -- Since 2016, the VITA program has filed over 1000 tax returns that brought more than $1.8 million dollars back into the pockets of Merced County residents. This money is usually spent locally on things like vehicles, clothes, and food! All these purchases help keep Merced County thriving.

EITC & CalEITC -- Most taxpayers are unaware of the refundable EIC and CalEITC tax credits. The EIC can be as much as $6,431 per family, while the CalEITC can be as much as $2,479. That's over $8,000 that people can get back even if they had no taxes withheld from their pay. Millions of dollars go unclaimed every year because people don't know that they qualify for these credits and don't file their tax returns. 


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