VITA FAQ

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What is VITA, and am I eligible for free tax preparation?
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $55,000 or less, persons with disabilities and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals. If you have any questions about your eligibility to receive FREE tax preparation services, please call 510-535-6101.

Are you taking appointments? Yes, our VITA site is now open by appointment only!

How do I make an appointment? To make an appointment Call (510) 535 6101 or email careercenter@unitycouncil.org

What are your operation hours? Monday – Friday 10:30 am – 5:00 pm and Saturdays after March 16th, 10:30 – 3:00 pm. Our VITA site is closed on Presidents Day (2/18/19) and Cesar Chavez Day (4/1/19).When is VITA season? The VITA site operates from Monday, February 4th to Friday, April 12th.

Where is the VITA site? The VITA site operates at The Fruitvale – San Antonio Senior Center located at 3301 E. 12th Street, Suite 201, Oakland, CA 94601

Do you offer help in languages other than English?
Yes! We have translation available in Spanish, Mam, and Cantonese. Last year 73% of clients received services in a language other than English.

Can I file my taxes at the VITA site if I am not a U.S. citizen? Yes. An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter may be substituted for you, your spouse and your dependents if you do not have a Social Security number. We do NOT assign ITIN numbers. For a list of ITIN providers, visit: www.irs.gov/individuals/acceptance-agents-california

What should I bring to my appointment?

  • Proof of identification (photo ID)
  • Social Security cards or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for you, your spouse and dependents
  • Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return
  • Wage and earning statements (Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R,1099-Misc) from all employers
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
  • All Forms 1095, Health Insurance Statements
  • Health Insurance Exemption Certificate, if received
  • Proof of bank account routing and account numbers for direct deposit such as a blank check
  • To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms
  • Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider’s tax identifying number such as their Social Security number or business Employer Identification Number
  • Forms 1095-A, B or C, Affordable Health Care Statements
  • Copies of income transcripts from IRS and state, if applicable (example: unemployment benefits)
  • Optional: A copy of last year’s federal and state returns, if available

Before scheduling your appointment, please review a list of the types of returns the VITA site can prepare: www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p3676bsp.pdf

Does VITA prepare Federal, State, and Local tax returns for free? Your Federal, State, and Local taxes will all be prepared.

Does VITA e-file tax returns? Yes, VITA sites e-file all Federal and State tax returns.

What if I need to file a return for a state other than California, can VITA do that? VITA in-person sites can only prepare CA tax returns, but you can visit the United Way website and do your own return to file state returns other than CA. Visit: www.unitedway.org/myfreetaxes/

Can I file last year’s taxes or make an amendment to a prior year? No. But, you can visit the United Way website and do your own amendment or prior year return for free. Visit: www.unitedway.org/myfreetaxes/

I did my taxes with you last year. Do you have my information still on file? No, we do not save any information from past years. Please bring all necessary documents to your appointment.