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  • Abigail Sweeten-Jones

VITA & TCE Programs

Updated: May 26

Everyone has a different experience of the last eighteen months. Some of us count the pandemic as a blessing -- spending more time at home with our families and being more health conscious -- while others suffered great loss, emotionally, physically, and, sometimes, financially.


If you need help filing your tax return for 2020, there is assistance available.

By meeting any of the three following criteria (directly from the IRS website), you may be eligible for free tax filing assistance through the IRS’ VITA or TCE programs. These programs are longstanding volunteer organizations designed to lend the community a helping hand.


-          People who make generally less than $57,000

-          Persons with disabilities

-          Limited English-speaking taxpayers


To find a location for tax prep help, enter your zip code at https://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/.


To be prepared for a meeting, gather the following documents (listed from https://www.irs.gov/individuals/checklist-for-free-tax-return-preparation):


-          (Note: For married filing joint, both spouses must be present.)

-          Proof of identification (photo ID)

-          Social Security cards for you, your spouse and dependents

-          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

-          Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN

-          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)

-          Health Insurance Exemption Certificate, if received

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

-          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 and C, Health Coverage Statements

-          Copies of income transcripts from IRS and state, if applicable


The following items can typically be handled by theses programs (listed at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p3676bsp.pdf ):


-          Wages, salaries, etc. (Form W-2)

-          Interest Income (Form 1099-INT)

-          Dividends Received (Form 1099-DIV)

-          State Tax Refunds (Form 1099-G)

-          Unemployment Benefits (Form 1099-G)

-          IRA Distributions (Form 1099-R)

-          Pension Income (Forms 1099-R, RRB-1099, CSA-1099)

-          Social Security Benefits (Form SSA-1099) (RRB-1099) • Simple Capital Gain/Loss (Form 1099-B) limited

-          Sale of Home (Form 1099-S) limited

-          Self-employed Income (Form 1099-MISC) limited

-          Gambling Winnings (Form W-2G)

-          Cancellation of Debt (Form 1099-C) limited

-          Health Savings Accounts (Form 1099-SA) limited

-          Itemized Deductions limited

-          Education Credits (Form 1098-T)

-          Child Tax Credit

-          Earned Income Credit

-          Health Insurance Statements (Forms 1095-A, B or C)

-          Prior Year and Amended Returns limited

-          Form 8615 (tax on certain children’s unearned income) limited


The following items will NOT be eligible for tax prep assistance (listed at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p3676bsp.pdf ):


-          Schedule C with loss, depreciation or business use of home

-          Complicated Schedule D (capital gains and losses)

-          Form SS-5 (request for Social Security Number)

-          Form 8606 (non-deductible IRA)

-          Form 8814 (child taxed at parent’s tax rate)

-          Form SS-8 (determination of worker status for purposes of

-          federal employment taxes and income tax withholding)

-          Parts 4 & 5