VITA INCOME TAX APPOINTMENTS NOW AVAILABLE THROUGH 2-1-1 WNY
CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY, NY-Need help with your taxes and don’t know where to turn? You may be eligible for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA.) VITA utilizes local volunteers, certified by the IRS, to prepare income tax returns at no charge. Those eligible for this service include individuals making less than $73,000 per year, persons with disabilities, people over 60 years of age, and limited English speakers. The goal of VITA is to ensure that 100% of the refund amount is returned to the taxpayer. The United Ways of Chautauqua County work with VITA by providing local and convenient sites to assist qualified individuals throughout the community. Last year, the VITA program generated $2,242,278 in refunds, with volunteers logging more than 3,500 hours of service to the community.
“We’re excited to continue expanding our partnership with United Way of Northern Chautauqua County and the Southern Chautauqua Federal Credit Union,” said Amy Rohler, Executive Director of the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County.
"We have seen major changes in the tax code from last year to this year, and we want to ensure taxpayers are aware and help them get everything back that is due to them,” said Adam Dolce, Executive Director of the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County. The elimination of the expanded Child Tax Credit will have an impact on a family's return this year. In addition, we saw changes to the Earned Income Tax Credit, which may affect several elderly and younger taxpayers. Both credits were returned to what they more typically were prior to 2021. This tax season will much more closely resemble the pre-COVID period than the last 2-3 years."
Traditional in-person appointments and drop off sites for virtual tax preparation are available across Chautauqua County. Common issues that cannot be addressed by the VITA Program include income from rental property, farming, or businesses which manage an inventory or show a loss for the tax year. VITA Volunteers will determine if any items are out of scope at time of service. Pre-scheduling is required for both in person and drop off appointments:
- The Prendergast Library
- Community Connections at Findley Lake (drop off only)
- Sinclairville Library
- United Way of Southern Chautauqua County (drop off only)
- Mayville Library
- Silver Creek Library
- United Way of Northern Chautauqua County
- SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator
- Westfield YWCA
To schedule an appointment for free tax assistance, dial 2-1-1 or call toll-free at 888-696-9211. You can also text your zip code to 898211 (messaging and data rates apply.) A service representative will then direct you to the appropriate location to schedule your appointment. Appointments do fill up fast, so calling early to schedule is encouraged. Once your appointment is confirmed, please bring the following:
- 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.
- Birth dates for you, your spouse, and dependents on the tax return.
- Wage and earning statements (Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R,1099-NEC, 1099-MISC) from all employers.
- Unemployment statement
- Interest, dividend, and brokerage statements from banks (Forms 1099.)
- Education and student loan documents (1098T, 1098E)
- 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.
- Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider's tax identifying number such as their Social Security number or business Employer Identification Number.
- Form 1095-A.
- Copies of income transcripts from IRS and state, if applicable.
- To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.
In lieu of an appointment, taxpayers can also use the self-preparation portal at http://www.MyFreeTaxes.com