FAQs

How does it work?

We offer three different ways to have your taxes prepared for FREE! 


1. Traditional VITA - You can either walk-in or make an appointment to have your tax return prepared in person. The average wait time for this can range between 1-2 hours.


2. Valet VITA (Recommended) - You make an appointment to meet with an intake specialist and drop-off all of your tax-related documents. Your tax return is prepared and then once completed you can return to pick it up. This option is best for those who can't wait around or have a busy schedule


3. FSA VITA - This is a do-it-yourself with help option. You prepare your own tax return with the help of a tax law certified volunteer to answer any questions you may have during the process

Do I need an appointment?

It depends! Some of our sites offer walk-ins and some are by appointment only. Be sure to check by clicking "Find A Site Near You" above! 

Do I qualify for free tax preparation through VITA?

If you made $56,000 or less in 2019 you may qualify. Contact your VITA site for more information. 

What should I bring to my tax preparation appointment

  •  A copy of last year's federal return if available
  • Valid Photo ID for all adults on the return
  • Social Security Cards or ITIN letters for everyone on the return
  • All wage and earning statements: Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-MISC
  • Form 1095-A health insurance marketplace information
  • Interest and dividend statements
  • Routing and Account numbers if you want to receive a direct deposit into your checking/savings account.
  • If you are married and filing jointly, your spouse must be present

Is help available with prior year or amended tax returns?

Yes, just make sure to schedule an appointment and let us know what you need. You will need to schedule an appointment for each tax year you need prepared. 

Do I have to file?

If you earned more than $12,200 in 2019 you may be required to file a tax return. There are other cases where you may be required to file even if you earned less than that amount. Feel free to reach out to your local VITA site with any questions you may have about your filing requirement.


Even if you aren't legally required to file a tax return it may be a good idea to file you if you or your spouse is at least 25 years of age (even if your income is very low) because you may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC)

My question isn't here!

No worries! If you have a question that isn't listed here feel free to give us a call at (209)446-5042 or e-mail us at VITA@unitedwaymerced.org