It’s here: tax season. For many people April 15 is a day to be dreaded. However, beginning in early February, Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance (DHA) and the Sacramento Coalition for Working Families (SCWF) are offering a free tax service to families and individuals making $52,000 a year or less.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) is designed to help working, low to mid income level families and individuals file their income tax returns. The program is completely staffed by volunteers who receive IRS-certified training that began in mid-December. Volunteers are trained to help taxpayers learn if they qualify for special tax credits such as the Child Tax Credit, Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled, and the Earned Income Tax Credit; credits can be as much as $6,000.
“The VITA program provides a valuable service in helping families and individuals file their income tax returns. More than that, though, our trained volunteers help them with tax credits they might not otherwise realize they qualify to receive,” said Paul Lake, Director of Human Assistance.
To qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) families must be working, have three or more children, and have made no more than $51,000 in 2013. Individuals with no children who earned less than $14,000 may also qualify.
“We are happy to be part of such a program, where volunteers from the Department of Human Assistance and our local community are helping their fellow residents retain the money they have worked so hard to earn,” added Lake.
There are over a dozen VITA sites located throughout Sacramento and several offer tax services on Saturdays. All locations also offer an easy to use, self-serve kiosk to electronically file income tax returns for individuals making $58,000 or less.
To make an appointment, and for a complete list of VITA locations, simply dial 2-1-1 or visit www.SacWorkingFamilies.com.
What to Bring to your VITA Appointment:
Photo identification for you and your spouse
Social security or ITIN number for all individuals (children and adults) listed on the return
A copy of last year’s return if you have one
All wage and income documents received in 2013 (W-2, 1099, etc.)
Child care provider’s Tax ID number, name, address, and phone number (if claiming Child/Dependent Care Credit)
Proof of bank account and routing number to use for direct deposit
Expense documents such as mortgage interest statements, property tax bills, medical expenses, etc.
Sacramento County DHA VITA Site Locations:
2450 Florin Rd., Sacramento, CA 95822
2700 Fulton Ave., Sacramento, CA 95821
3960 Research Dr., Sacramento, CA 95838
Writer: Danielle Spang, Communication and Media Intern