Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
During tax season (January to April) VITA provides free, volunteer-assisted tax preparation in a culturally-specific setting to low income, primarily Latino individuals and families. As well as providing direct tax preparation services, VITA offers its clients the necessary tools and education to better understand and take control of their personal tax situation.
VITA provides the following direct services:
- Prepare current year tax returns
- Prepare past year tax returns up to three years, not including current year
- Prepare amended returns (current and up to three past years)
For links to more information and frequently asked questions:
– Qualifications: Can we prepare your return, or is it “out-of-scope” for our program?
– Site location and current schedule: Are you coming to our office for service?
– Requirements: What do you need to bring with you to our site when preparing your taxes?
– Amended returns: How can I make changes to a tax return I have already prepared?
– For prospective volunteers: Interested in learning about taxes in order to volunteer your time?
– Other questions? Call our VITA Site Coordinator at (503) 489-6834.
Qualifications for VITA services
In order to qualify for our service a taxpayer:
- Must be within the low- to moderate-income level according to the IRS. Varying year to year, the maximum income level for Tax Year 2017 is $54,000.
- Note: VITA does make exceptions for the maximum income level if the individual is presently in a different economic situation than last year, including currently being unemployed.
- Must NOT have a tax return that is “out-of-scope” for our program. These cases can include but are not limited to:
- Health Saving Account (HSA) (Forms 5498-SA, 1099-SA, or on your W-2 with a W in Box 12)
- Debt from a mortgage or credit card cancelled/forgiven by a commercial lender (Form 1099-A or 1099-C)
- Buy, sell or have a foreclosure (COD) of your home (Form 1099-A)
- Income (or loss) from the sale of Stocks, Bonds or Real Estate (including your home) (Forms 1099-S,1099-B)
- Retirement income of which the taxable portion has not been determined (Form 1099-R with box 2a empty)
- Income (or loss) from Rental Property
- If you work as an Independent Contractor and/or have your own business (Forms 1099-MISC or cash income) AND have any of the following (if none of these apply we will prepare your return)
- More than $10,000 of expenses to declare
- Paid employees
- A loss (more expenses than income for the year)
- Depreciation of equipment
If any of the above examples apply to you, please refer to CASH Oregon at Lloyd Center in Portland at (503) 243-7765 or www.CASHOregon.org to seek further assistance.
Requirements for VITA services – To complete your tax return each taxpayer MUST bring (all that apply):
- Photo ID (you and your spouse if filing together)
- Original Social Security and/or ITIN cards for you, your spouse and all dependents appearing on tax return
- Copy of your most recent tax return
- Information regarding healthcare coverage held by you, your spouse and your dependents in the last year (can appear on Form 1095-A, -B and/or -C)
- Form W-2 and/or 1099-MISC for each job held in the last year
- Record of all income received and expenses within the last year if you are self-employed
- Form 1099-INT and/or 1099-DIV (to report interest)
- Information (including name, address and SSN or ITIN) of the person who provides care to your child and/or dependent, how much you paid him or her in the last year, and copies of receipts/proof of payment
- Form 1098 regarding home mortgage interest and property taxes paid, plus a list of unreimbursed medical expenses and of charitable contributions made (in the case you will itemize your deductions)
- Form 1098-T and any other record showing post-secondary education expenses paid in the last year for you, your spouse and dependents
- Proof of funds sent to Mexico to support qualifying dependents
- For a Direct Deposit of your refund you must bring a check or other record with your bank account number (does not include ATM card)
Amended tax returns – Reasons to amend your tax return
A taxpayer will amend his or her tax return when a change in previously-declared information has occurred. These changes can include, but are not limited to:
- You have income you did not report in your original return
- You have a qualifying dependent that you did not declare
- You have additional information not included in your original return
- You must correct any other incorrect information on your original return
For questions regarding amended returns please call our Site Coordinator at (503) 489-6834.