VITA

A person wearing a live united shirt gestures to a person in business attire. Both are seated at a desk in front of a pile of documents.

Let VITA help you file your taxes for free.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is a national program staffed by local volunteers to provide free preparation and electronic filing of tax returns. It’s an important service to thousands of individuals and families in Racine County with low-to-moderate incomes who are eligible for tax credits.

No in-person sites. Choose which virtual option is best for you.

I want IRS-certified volunteers to do my taxes for me.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

  • 100% virtual for your safety and the safety of our volunteers.
  • Easy to submit from a smartphone, tablet or computer.
  • For taxpayers with an income of $66,000 or less
  • VITA can not prepare returns that are Married Filing Separate (MFS) or contain rental income.
  • Preparation available for tax years 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
  • You will be required to interview by phone with a volunteer tax preparer.

Click below to answer a series of questions and securely send pictures of your documents to United Way of Racine County's VITA program. You will be transferred to GetYourRefund.org to start the process.​​​​​​​​

Once you click to start the process, continue through to the end. You will not be able to go back to where you left off. This may mean that you need to skip over the documents/photos until later.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​A blue button that says, "File now. Let our volunteers do the work."​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

I want to file my own taxes using free software.​​​​​​​

  • No income restrictions.
  • No form restrictions.
  • 2020 Software.
  • Does NOT support state only filing.
  • Volunteers available to answer your tax questions via email.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​    ​​​​​​​This is the right option for you if:

  • You are only filing for the current tax year.
  • You are comfortable using online tax services.
  • You have done your own taxes in the past but want a free, no-fee option.
  • Your tax situation is more straightforward.
  • You need a quick option.

Click below to request a link for our Free TaxSlayer software.

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A yellow button that says "File now. DIY guided software with email support."

FAQs and Taxpayer Resources

Step 1:

Gather your social security card, state issued photo ID/driver's license and tax documents.

Step 2:

From your smartphone, tablet or computer (phone or tablet are the easiest), click on the "File Now: Let our volunteers do the work" button above. This will bring you to our tax preparation webpage for you to securely submit your documents to our volunteers.

Step 3:

Follow the instructions and answer all required questions. Remember, our volunteers will review all information, so it's not a problem if you accidentally make a mistake or answer a question incorrectly. You will be interviewed by a volunteer to ensure everything is complete and accurate before filing.

Step 4:

Follow the instructions to take photos of your social security card, photo ID, selfie with photo ID and tax documents. Make sure the photos are of the entire document and that they are clear enough for our volunteers to read.

Step 5:

Finish the process by hitting "submit." We will take it from there. You will receive a text or email from our VITA team to set up a phone call with your preparer. 

VITA will be 100% virtual for this tax season. You can still receive the same great service from our IRS-certified volunteers by submitting your documents through GetYourRefund.org. We will not hold in-person sites. This will help to ensure the safety of both our clients and volunteers.

Don't worry if you don't have a computer. The virtual service is easiest to access from a cell phone or tablet that has a camera. The link is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with chat and email support provided. Once you get your information submitted, our IRS-certified VITA volunteers will guide you through the rest of the process. Click on the blue "file now" button above to get started.

Yes. We would be happy to help you file for Homestead. Click on the blue "file now" button above to get the process started. When asked to upload documents/photos in GetYourRefund, you will need to take a photo of your completed rent certificate or 2020 property tax statement as well as any other documents requested. 

Blank Wisconsin rent certificates can be found HERE. Your landlord will need to complete their portion of the form; including signature and date.

Instructions for the Wisconsin Homestead Credit can be found HERE if you decide to complete the form on your own.

Please submit your question(s) to our IRS-certified VITA volunteers via email at taxhelp@unitedwayracine.org. Please do not send or attach any personally identifiable information such as tax documents, social security number etc. via email.

Have these documents available:

  • ​​​​​​​Current photo identification (driver’s license, state ID or student ID).
  • Social security cards or ITINs for you, your spouse (if married) and any dependents you are claiming.
  • If filing joint, both taxpayers must be present. Returns cannot be completed until signed by both taxpayers.
  • Documentation to show receipt of stimulus payments.
  • All wage and tax statements, including the following forms:
    • W-2 (employment)
    • W-2 G (gambling winnings)
    • 1099-R (retirement)
    • 1099-G (unemployment)
    • SSA-1099 (social security)
    • 1099-INT (interest)
    • 1099-DIV (dividends)
    • 1098-T (tuition)
  • 1095-A if you receive health insurance through the marketplace.
  • Any other tax document(s) you’ve received.
  • If you paid for childcare, provide a statement from your provider.
  • Bank information for direct deposit (routing and account number).

Homestead credit is available to Wisconsin residents with an income under $24,680. If filing for Homestead, you will also need:

  • Your property tax bill or completed rent certificate.
  • Social security benefits, including:
    • federal and state SSI
    • SSI-E
    • SSD
    • caretaker supplement payments
  • Wisconsin Works payment documents.
  • Child support amount received from the year you are filing.

In order to use our virtual VITA services you will need to have access to texting or an email address. Here's a video with instructions on how to set up a free Gmail account.

To check on the status of your federal refund:

Have your tax return handy so you can provide your social security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), filing status and the exact, whole dollar amount of your refund.

OnlineIRS.gov

Phone: 1 (800) 829-1040

To check on the status of your state refund:

Please have ready your Social Security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) used to file, the exact amount of the refund, and the tax year of the refund.

Online: WI.gov

Phone:  1 (866) 947-7363

Email: Visit WI.gov for their email form.​​​​​​​

Mailing addresses can be found at the following links:

Wisconsin Department of Revenue: DOR Tax Return Mailing Addresses (wi.gov)

Federal: WISCONSIN - Where to File Addresses for Taxpayers and Tax Professionals (irs.gov)

Please connect with the Racine Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) on their website or by calling (262) 200-0831. Through free, one-on-one, professional financial counseling, the Racine FEC can help you take control of your debt, deal with debt collectors, improve your credit, create a budget, save, connect to safe and affordable financial products and much more. Services are available to all City of Racine residents regardless of income.

What is the EITC?

The earned income tax credit (EITC) is a refundable tax credit for both federal and Wisconsin tax returns. You may qualify for the EITC if you worked last year but earned a low or moderate income. The EITC is a refundable tax credit, which means that even if you don't owe any tax, you can still receive a refund.

Do I qualify for the EITC?

To qualify for the credit, your adjusted gross income (AGI) must be below a certain amount, and you must:

  • Have a social security number (SSN) valid for employment by the due date of your return (including extensions). (If you're filing a joint return, your spouse also must have an SSN valid for employment.) If you don't have an SSN by the due date of your return (including extensions), you can't claim the EIC on either an original or an amended return, even if you later get an SSN.
    • Any qualifying child listed on Schedule EIC (Form 1040) also must have an SSN valid for employment by the due date of your return (including extensions). If a child didn't have an SSN by the due date of your return (including extensions), you can't count that child as a qualifying child in figuring the EIC on either your original or an amended return, even if that child later gets an SSN.
  • Have a filing status other than married filing separately.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or resident alien all year, or a nonresident alien married to a U.S. citizen or resident alien and filing a joint return.
  • Not file Form 2555 (related to foreign earned income).
  • Not have investment income over $3,650.
  • Have earned income from employment or from self-employment.
  • Not be a qualifying child of another person. (If you're filing a joint return, your spouse also can't be a qualifying child of another person.)
  • Have a qualifying child who meets the age, relationship, residency and joint return tests and isn't treated as the qualifying child of another person. Or, if you don't have a qualifying child, you must:
    • Be age 25 but under 65 at the end of the year.
    • Not qualify as a dependent of another person.
    • Live in the United States for more than half of the year.

If you qualify for the credit, the amount of your EITC will depend on your filing status, whether you have a qualifying child (and if so, how many) and the amount of your wages and income last year. Qualifying children must be listed on Schedule EIC (Form 1040) PDF.

​​​​​​​To see if you qualify and for how much, see the EITC qualification assistant. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

For more information, see Publication 596, Earned Income Credit and visit Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)​​​​​​​

Did you receive a letter from the IRS about the EITC? 

Find out what to do.

What other credits could I qualify for?

If you qualify for the EITC, you may also qualify for other tax credits.

Check the status of your stimulus payment and get the most up-to-date information at IRS.gov.

Yes! You can still go to MyFreeTaxes.com to file your own taxes for free. The program has switched over to use TaxSlayer software which is the same as our DIY option above. There is no income limit and no form limit for MyFreeTaxes.

Para traducir la información de esta página, abra el sitio web y haga clic con el botón derecho en el sitio web. A continuación, le dará la oportunidad de traducir al inglés. Puede hacer clic en el traducir el icono a la derecha de la barra del navegador para seleccionar el idioma al que desea que se traduzca la página (por ejemplo, español). Una vez que haga clic en el botón azul "FILE NOW" arriba, GetYourRefund.org está disponible en español.

Sí. GetYourRefund está disponible en inglés y español. El programa VITA tiene preparadores de impuestos bilingues disponibles para ayudar a los clientes con la preparación y presentación.