The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is a collaborative initiative between Catholic Charities, the City of San Antonio, United Way, local colleges and universities, and a number of financial institutions that work closely together to provide free income tax assistance and support to taxpayers, helping them claim federal earned income tax credit.
With a goal of increasing the financial stability of working individuals and families in San Antonio and Bexar County, VITA volunteers operate over 25 VITA sites located throughout the city and complete more than 35,000 tax returns in a single tax season. As a result of this vital initiative, over $60,000,000 in refunds is returned to the San Antonio community alone.
How We Help
VITA harnesses the time and talents of dedicated volunteers to provide free income tax assistance and support to individuals and families seeking help with their tax preparation. In order to get the most out of your income tax credit, trained volunteers work directly with you to ensure that you receive what you are entitled to. The following items are needed to prepare your tax return:
- Proof of Identification (i.e., Drivers License, Photo I.D. or Passport);
- Original Social Security Card or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) for you, your spouse and dependents
- Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return
- Current year’s tax package if you received one
- Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, from all employers
- Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099-INT) if applicable
- A copy of last year’s Federal and State returns if available
- Bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit
- Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider’s tax identifying number (the provider’s Social Security Number or the provider’s business Employer Identification Number)
- To file taxes electronically on a married filing joint tax return, BOTH spouses must be present to sign the required forms
To find a VITA site near you, contact the United Way Helpline by dialing 211.
Who qualifies for our program?
Individuals and families earning less than $60,000 annually during the income tax season.
Interested in becoming a VITA volunteer?
Every year, hundreds of people just like YOU contribute their time and expertise to provide FREE tax preparation to thousands of individuals and families across San Antonio. Without the help of all those who support and volunteer with VITA, many of whom return each tax filing season, we could not continue to expand, touching an increasing number of San Antonio’s working families and individuals who depend on the additional income.
VITA volunteers are provided with free training and support by experienced VITA trainers. Whether you have experience doing tax returns or just want to learn and contribute to your community, we offer a number of training options available to you that will fit your schedule:
- Basic Tax Law Class (16 hours) - Covers basic tax law software, administrative processes, and allows time for test that leads to certification. Presented over 2 consecutive Saturdays or 4 consecutive evenings.
- Extended Training Class (40 hours) - IRS approved integrated training covers basic/intermediate tax law, TaxWise software and tests that leads to certification. Presented through a week; 8 hours for 5 days.
- Link and Learn Training with Practice Lab (up to 20 hours depending on experience level) - Students achieve certification at their leisure using a web-based training program. This interactive program integrates tax law and software to assist the volunteer in learning to prepare a tax return and includes a certification test. Volunteers can come in for an optional orientation class, then after completing certification, the student is required to submit certification and Form 13615, Volunteer Agreement.
- Intermediate/Advanced Tax Law Class (8 hours) - Offered to all students who are interested in extending their knowledge to a higher tax certification level, this is an additional 8 hours on Saturdays. Must have already certified at the basic level.
Once training and certification is completed, volunteers are able to choose how, when and where they will volunteer their time and utilize their new expertise. VITA volunteer opportunities include:
- VITA Filer - complete income tax returns for the community
- Greeter/Administrative Specialist - greet clients, make copies, ensure clients have all necessary documentation to complete taxes
- VITA Volunteer Trainer - help train our core base of volunteers
Call VITA today at (210) 222-2975 or
visit http://www.vitasa.org to register online as a volunteer.