Saturday, September 18, 2021

Free Income Tax Preparation Assistance Available for Low Income, Elderly, Disabled, Limited English Speaking Taxpayers

Help Available at More than 40 Locations in Santa Clara County

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF – Tax preparation assistance is once again available to low income, elderly, disabled, and limited English speaking taxpayers through VITA, the free nationwide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program coordinated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). VITA tax preparation services are temporarily located at County libraries in Campbell, Cupertino, and Milpitas, and at the Santa Clara County Social Services Agency CalWORKs Employment Connection Center.

“Many individuals and families are counting on their tax refund to offset financial obligations, but are either unable to pay for the professional service, or lack the English language skills or knowledge to work on the return themselves,” said President Dave Cortese, County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors.  “This free tax preparation assistance is so valuable that we want to make it available again this year.”

The IRS, United Way Silicon Valley, 2-1-1 Santa Clara County, the County of Santa Clara, churches, nonprofits and other local organizations are working together to offer more than 40 VITA Tax Assistance sites throughout Santa Clara County.  Trained IRS-certified volunteers will provide assistance in preparing basic forms (1040EZ, 1040A, 1040 with Schedule A, B, Limited Schedule CEZ, C and California State Income Tax Returns) in multiple languages, and facilitate e-filing or paper returns. Low-income, elderly, disabled and speaking limited English taxpayers are encouraged to take advantage of the service.

Over the past 15 years, VITA volunteers and community partners have helped secure more than $600 million refund dollars for households in the Bay Area.  Last year alone, more than 74,000 families were assisted through VITA, resulting in a total of $80 million in tax refunds.

“This is a great service that can benefit many families in our county,” said County of Santa Clara Supervisor Mike Wasserman, who was a professional tax preparer for over 20 years and is the Chair of the County Library District Joint Powers Authority. “New tax laws and regulations are added every year. We are glad to open our libraries to connect IRS trained multi-lingual volunteers and taxpayers so they can confidently fill out their income tax forms and get the assistance and refunds they may be eligible to receive.”

To qualify for the VITA assistance program, taxpayers must be working U.S. Citizens or permanent residents with a valid Social Security or ITIN number, and have a combined household income of less than $54,000.

Taxpayers need to bring the following information to VITA sites:

· A photo ID (Passport, driver’s license, State ID) for self and spouse if married

·  Social Security cards or ITINS for each person included in tax returns

·  Proof of income: W2s, 1099s, 1098s, cash income, interest income, etc.

·  Proof of expenses: childcare expense statement (with provider address and tax ID number),

   medical expenses, property tax bills, etc.)

·  A copy of last year’s federal and state returns, if available

·  Bank account number with routing number for direct deposit refund

·  Household health coverage information (1095-A if bought through Covered CA)

·  For married filing joint, both spouses need to be present to sign. (Volunteers will not be able

   to prepare returns for married taxpayers filing separately)

 The County of Santa sites below are four of more than 40 locations available for

VITA Tax Assistance:

Campbell Library

Every Tuesday and Saturday until April 15

77 Harrison Avenue, Campbell, CA 95008

Tuesday evenings: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

(Service will not be offered on 3/21)

Saturday mornings: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

(Service will not be offered on 4/8)

Sign up in person beginning one hour prior to the start time.

Assistance in English, Russian, Mandarin and Vietnamese.

For information, please call (408) 866-1991

Cupertino Library

Every Sunday until April 2, from 2 p.m.-5 p.m.

(Service will not be offered on 3/26)

10800 Torre Ave, Cupertino, CA 95014

Cupertino Library Story Room

Walk-ins (first- come, first-served)

Assistance is available in English, Chinese, Hindi, and Tagalog.

 Milpitas Library

Every Saturday until April 8, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

160 N. Main Street, Milpitas, CA 94035

A sign-up list will be posted at the garage entrance to the library at 9 a.m. each Saturday.

For more information, please call 408-262-1171 ext. 3616.

Santa Clara County Social Services Agency

CalWORKs Employment Connection Center

Every Thursday and Friday until April 14, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

1879 Senter Rd. #10 San Jose, CA 95112

Walk-ins (first- come, first-served)

Assistance is available in English and Spanish

For more information about the tax preparation schedule and VITA sites near your house or work, call 2-1-1 or visit www.earnitkeepitsaveit.org.