Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Low Income, Elderly, Disabled, Limited English Speaking Taxpayers are receiving Free Income Tax Preparation Assistance

Nearly 40 locations in Santa Clara County, including two County libraries and a Social Services Agency site open their doors to offer this service

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CA –Low income, elderly, disabled, and limited English speaking taxpayers in Santa Clara County can once again seek tax preparation assistance through VITA, the free nationwide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program coordinated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and United Way Bay Area. This year, VITA tax preparation services are temporarily offered at nearly 40 sites, including two County libraries in Cupertino and Milpitas, and the Santa Clara County Social Services Agency CalWORKs Employment Connection Center in San Jose.

“The last thing a taxpayer who’s struggling financially needs is an added expense,” said Joe Simitian, President of the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors.  “We encourage anyone who qualifies to seek the advice and guidance of VITA volunteers.”

The IRS, United Way Bay Area, 2-1-1 Santa Clara County, the County of Santa Clara, Santa Clara County Library District, churches, nonprofits and other local organizations are working together to offer nearly 40 VITA Tax Assistance sites throughout Santa Clara County.  Trained IRS-certified volunteers will provide assistance in multiple languages to prepare basic forms (1040EZ, 1040A, 1040 with Schedule A, B, Limited Schedule CEZ, C and California State Income Tax Returns) and facilitate e-filing or paper returns. Taxpayers who are low-income, elderly, disabled or speak limited English are encouraged to use the service.

Over the past 16 years, VITA volunteers and community partners have helped secure more than $700 million in refund dollars for households in the Bay Area.  Last year alone, more than 72,000 families were assisted through VITA, resulting in a total of $80 million in tax refunds.

“It could be overwhelming for any taxpayer to keep up with changes in tax benefits, deductions, exemptions and refunds,” 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. “We will continue offering tax preparation assistance services at County libraries where VITA volunteers can help simplify the complicated process of filling out tax forms.”

To qualify for the VITA assistance program, taxpayers must have a valid Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), and have a combined household income of $54,000 or less.

Taxpayers need to bring the following information to VITA sites:

  • A photo ID (Passport, driver’s license, State issued ID) for him or herself and his or her spouse if married
  • Social Security cards or ITIN 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, B or C)
  • Landlord’s name, address and phone number for CA Renter’s Credit
  • For married filing jointly, 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 Clara sites below are three of nearly 40 locations available for

VITA Tax Assistance:

Cupertino Library

Every Sunday through April 8, 2018, from 2 p.m.-5 p.m.

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.

For more information, call (408) 446-1677 ext. 3330

 

Milpitas Library

Every Saturday until April 14, 2018, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

160 N. Main St., Milpitas, CA 94035

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

Assistance is available in English, Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese

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

 

Santa Clara County Social Services Agency

CalWORKs Employment Connection Center

Every Thursday and Friday until April 14, 2018, 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

You can either view a map of sites and search by city (http://earnitkeepitsaveit.org/map) or to find all VITA sites within Santa Clara County, please visit https://tinyurl.com/yat6a97g

ABOUT THE COUNTY OF SANTA CLARA

The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, the fifth largest county in California. With a $6.5 billion budget, more than 70 agencies/departments and 20,000 employees, the County of Santa Clara plans for the needs of a dynamic community, offers quality services, and promotes a healthy, safe and prosperous community for all.  The County provides essential services including public health and environmental protection, medical services through Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC), child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, parks, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and scores of other services, particularly for those members of our community in the greatest need.

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