Free Income Tax Prep (VITA)

Free Tax Prep! (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance)

Suncoast Community Capital’s Free Tax Prep, or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), program is available FREE for people with low to moderate income (less than $51,000 in the household) who do not want to prepare their tax returns on their own.  Our IRS-certified community volunteers help clients access special credits (if eligible), such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC), to maximize their refunds or reduce their tax liabilities.

Free IRS E-Filing

As a component of the tax preparation, SCC’s VITA sites offer free IRS e-filing (electronic filing).  Individuals taking advantage of the e-file program will receive their refunds in half the time compared to returns filed on paper – even faster when tax refunds are deposited directly into a bank account.  If an individual owes, there are payment options available when using IRS e-file.

Alternative Filing Options

New this year are two alternative filing options for SCC’s Free Tax Prep clients. Virtual VITA allows you to prepare your taxes in the comfort of your home or office while still having access to IRS-certified volunteers.  SCC now offers a free, online tax tool that is interview-based and easy to use.  Click here to start preparing your taxes.

Also, Facilitated Self Assistance (FSA) Tax Prep & Filing is available for the first time in 2013. You can prepare your own simple tax returns using online, interview-based software at our VITA sites while IRS-certified volunteers stand ready to assist with tax questions if you need them.  You do not have to complete your return in one sitting. The software allows you to save your information and return at another time.  Be sure to bring all of the required documentation listed below to complete your return. Click here for times and locations.

What to Bring to the Free Tax Prep Site:

  • Proof of Identification
  • Social Security Cards* for you, your spouse and dependents and/or a Social Security Number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration
  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter for you, your spouse and dependents
  • Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents
  • Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, from all employers
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
  • A copy of last year’s federal return, if available
  • Total paid for daycare provider and the provider’s tax identifying number (the provider’s Social Security Number or the provider’s business Employer Identification Number)
  • For Direct Deposit, proof of bank account routing numbers and account numbers such as a blank check
  • If filing electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.

*It is extremely important that each person use the correct Social Security Number (SSN).  The most accurate information is usually located on your original Social Security card.  Each year hundreds of thousands of returns are delayed because names and Social Security numbers do not match Social Security Administration records.  To prevent rejection of electronically filed returns, volunteers check the accuracy of each Social Security Number, as well as the spelling of the name associated with the number.  If you do not have an SSN for you or a dependent, you should complete Form SS-5, Social Security Number Application and submit to the nearest Social Security Administration Office.

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