About Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (IRS VITA)

The IRS VITA Program offers free tax preparation to low-to moderate-income (generally, $49,000 and below) individuals and families. Certified volunteers sponsored by various organizations receive training to help prepare basic tax returns throughout San Diego County. These volunteers may help with special credits, such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Education Credits.

The Earned Income Tax Credit is a federal tax credit for working families and individuals, and often times, left unclaimed. One of Thrive San Diego’s goals is to increase participation in the Earned Income Tax Credit. In addition to free tax return preparation assistance, Thrive sites also offer free electronic filing (e-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 one's bank account.

Interns from San Diego State University, Cal State San Marcos and Southwest College are placed with various community based organizations to support the organization’s free tax preparation program. Through Thrive San Diego, community members are able to receive the benefit of this complimentary service, while college students are given the opportunity to expand on their knowledge and skills using this hands-on, real life experience.

Some Items you need to bring to the IRS VITA sites to have your tax returns prepared:

*To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.
**If you need assistance in receiving an ITIN, please let an IRS VITA Volunteer know so they can better assist you.

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