United Way of Southwest Alabama Safety Net Series: VITA Program and the year end

Updated: Dec. 27, 2021 at 2:18 PM CST
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The VITA program provides communities with free federal and state e-filing assistance. VITA collaborates with community organizations to recruit and train volunteers to assist individuals with tax preparation and to educate taxpayers about tax credits for which they may qualify. UWSWA also serves as lead for the South Alabama Free E-Filing (SAFE) Coalition, a group of agencies delivering VITA filing assistance.

Who qualifies?

  • Households who annually make $58,000 or less
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Taxpayers with limited English-speaking proficiency
  • Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) serves taxpayers age 60 years and over

Stats for 2020 tax year as of June 1, 2021

  • UWSWA 2020 Returns completed 1056
  • UWSWA 2020 Refunds  $1,186,439.00

What to consider as the year ends. Now is the time to start gathering documents for the tax filing process.

  • Start a folder or envelope where you can collect all the needed forms, letters, receipts, and other documentation.
  • New: Taxpayers should have received a letter about their third Economic Impact Payment (stimulus), Letter 1444-C. At the very least, they should know how much they received in April 2021 or later as a stimulus payment.
  • New: People who received advance payments of the Child Tax Credit should get a letter in January that shows how much they have received. Provide that letter to your tax preparer so they will know how much Child Tax Credit to claim on your tax return.
  • Incorrect reporting of either the Economic Impact Payment or the Child Tax Credit Payments received could delay your entire refund by several months.
  • The usual tax documents are required, including forms W-2, 1099, 1098, any receipts for deductible items, college expenses, daycare expenses (including a letter from the daycare with its tax ID number), etc.
  • If you received insurance from the Health Insurance Marketplace (Affordable Care Act), the Marketplace will send you a Form 1095-A which you must have to file your taxes and to avoid a disruption of your health insurance coverage.
  • If you would like any refund direct deposited into your bank account, we will need your bank routing number and account number. These are printed on your checks if you have them, and they are often available in your bank’s mobile app.

For more information about the VITA program, visit https://uwswa.org/our-work/our-programs/free-tax-preparation/ or call United Way 2-1-1 (888.421.1266)