United Way of Washtenaw County offers free tax return service

ANN ARBOR – Free tax preparation assistance is available to Washtenaw County taxpayers with low to moderate incomes through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. 

Managed locally by United Way of Washtenaw County (UWWC), VITA is a national IRS program providing free tax preparation for individuals and families making $56,000 or less, persons with disabilities, and older adults.

Trained volunteers and certified tax professionals work one-on-one with eligible taxpayers to:
provide basic tax return preparation services and electronic filing; offer financial savings tips; and inform taxpayers about special tax credits they may qualify for such as Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly or Disabled.

In 2019, UWWC free tax services resulted in:

  • 1,248 state and federal returns filed
  • $1.9 M in tax returns brought back to Washtenaw County
  • $1,542 in average refund amounts
  • More than 1000 volunteer hours dedicated to serving Washtenaw County residents

“We were so proud to increase refunds to individuals by more than $500,000 last year,” said Pam Smith, President and CEO of United Way of Washtenaw County. “VITA is an incredible community resource; refunds are reinvested into businesses in our county and refunds are helping people gain a foothold on resources that can make an incredible difference for their family.”

The VITA Program serves as a cornerstone for the Washtenaw Financial Stability Coalition, a local interagency partnership focused on increasing the financial stability of working individuals and families with low to moderate incomes.

SCHEDULING AN APPOINTMENT

The VITA Program is by appointment only. Eligible taxpayers can sign-up online or call 734.677.7235
to schedule an appointment.

For a full list of what to bring visit uwgive.org/freetaxhelp.

Taxpayers are asked to bring:

  • Photo ID for each person on the tax return (REQUIRED)
  • Social Security Card or ITIN for each person on the tax return (REQUIRED)
  • Birth dates for everyone that is included on the tax return
  • W-2s from all jobs held in 2019
  • All 1099s, 1098s and other tax forms
  • Record of any DHHS or Supplemental Security Income payments from both the

      Social Security Administration and the State of Michigan

  • Savings and checking account and routing numbers for direct deposit
  • Last year’s tax return (if available)
  • Child care provider information, including total paid in 2019 and their tax ID number
  • Landlord’s name, address, phone number and rent paid in 2019
  • Household’s health coverage information (1095-A)
  • Proof of foreign status if applying for ITIN 

VOLUNTEERING FOR VITA

To become a VITA volunteer, sign-up here. Volunteer shifts begin February 1st -April 4th. If you still wish to volunteer, but could not attend any of the January training sessions – please contact vita@uwwashtenaw.org.

RESOURCES:

United Way of Washtenaw County Free Tax Help

Washtenaw County Tax Preparation Sites

For a list of VITA sites in the area click here

ABOUT UNITED WAY OF WASHTENAW COUNTY

As part of our 96-year history, the United Way of Washtenaw County brings people, organizations, and resources together to create a thriving community for everyone. Our focus areas of Health, Education and Financial Stability provide the building blocks to strengthen the community and create opportunities for individuals and families. Our Volunteer Center provides an easy online way for people to connect with nonprofits in the community and our 2-1-1 helpline refers more than 8,000 people annually to critically needed services. To learn more, donate, or volunteer, visit uwgive.org.

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