VITA Frequently Asked Questions

VITA will be going virtual for 2021! Stay tuned for more information.

 

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COVID-19 Information
Stimulus Payment News

You can find updated information at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know
 

Is VITA still preparing taxes?

Racine County VITA sites are not operational at this time. VITA services will resume January 2021.
 

General information
What is VITA?

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is a program that utilizes IRS certified volunteers to provide free tax preparation and filing for low-to-moderate income taxpayers and individuals, people with disabilities and limited English-speaking taxpayers.
 

Why VITA?

VITA supports financial stability in Racine County. We want every taxpayer who is eligible for valuable tax credits to have access to filing their tax return. By filing through VITA, taxpayers are saving their hard-earned money while receiving every credit they deserve. By filing for free through VITA; more money is available to pay rent, groceries, and/or start a savings account.
 

Are the volunteers vetted?

Absolutely. All VITA volunteers must pass a background check prior to volunteering at a VITA site. The background check is conducted by Sterling Volunteers. There is no cost to the volunteers for the background check. All volunteers must certify in Volunteer Standards of Conduct and Intake/Interview and Quality Review. Volunteers who will be preparing tax returns must also certify through the IRS at the basic or advanced level for tax preparation.
 

Can VITA help me?

VITA focuses on assisting low-to-moderate income families and individuals. The program is staffed by certified volunteers. We focus on completing basic tax returns. Most returns are within our scope. We cannot complete returns including the following: Married filing single, rental income, and/or state returns other than WI.
 

Where are the Racine County VITA sites?

Physical site locations for the 2021 tax season are unknown at this time. Virtual VITA options will be available to taxpayers.

Where to go for your VITA appointment

At this time, physical sites are tentative. Virtual VITA will be available for tax payers.

Case High School

Case High School is located at 7345 Washington Ave. Park in the main lot and enter through the Theatre Entrance. You will the find the library straight ahead and to your left.

Gateway Technical College

Gateway is located at 1001 Main St. The VITA site is in the Racine Building. This is the northern most and shortest building on campus. It is easiest to go along the lake and park in the small lot north of the main lot. This lot is behind the skatepark. Enter the Racine Building. Look for the VITA enter here sign and follow the signs to the second floor room 206.
 

Racine Public Library

The library is located at 75 7th St. Parking is free on VITA days in the library lot. This is the lot east of the main entrance. Only the lot marked as a free lot is not metered. Use the main entrance and go to the second floor. Follow the signs to the VITA location.
 

Workforce Solutions

Workforce Solutions is located at 1717 Taylor Ave. You will enter through the north entrance and follow the hallway to classroom E to check in.
 

Do you accept walk-ins?

Sorry. We do not accept walk-ins. You can schedule your VITA appointment online HERE or by calling 262-383-2555. Valet VITA is available for taxpayers who are unable to submit their documents online and would like to drop off their tax documents in-person. 
 

How do I schedule a VITA tax appointment?

No appointment is needed to submit your documents online. If you need in-person assistance, you can schedule your appointment online HERE or call an automated phone line at 262-383-2555.
 

What do I need to bring to my appointment?

‰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.
‰All wage and tax statements, including: W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-G, SSA-1099, 1099-INT, 1099-DIV, any other tax documents you’ve received; including 1095-A if you receive insurance through the Marketplace.
‰Bank routing and account number for direct deposit.
‰ Homestead credit is available to Wisconsin residents with an income under $24,680. Bring your property tax bill or rent certificate and SSI or Wisconsin Works payment documents for the year you are filing.

‰ If married filing jointly, you can file electronically only if you and your spouse are both present to sign.


If you are not sure if VITA needs it, bring it along.

Information for VITA taxpayers
My return is on hold at a VITA site. How do I finish it?

We are happy that you are ready to complete your return. Please call Lori Riffer at 262-456-6468.
 

Where is my federal refund

You can connect to the IRS Where's My Refund tool HERE. You will need to enter your Social Security Number, filing status, and expected refund amount.
 

Where is my state refund?

You can check on the status of your state refund HERE. Just click on the Where's My Refund tool. You will have to enter the tax year you are looking for, your Social Security Number, and amount of refund.
 

I couldn't electronically file. Where do I mail my federal return?

If you are filing a Form 1040 and you are NOT enclosing a payment, mail to this address - Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Fresno, CA 93888-0002.

If you are filing a 1040 and you ARE enclosing a payment, mail to this address - Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 802501, Cincinnati, OH 45280-2501.

If you are filing a form 1040X, mail to this address - Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Fresno, CA 93888-0422.

 

Become a VITA volunteer
How do I sign up?

We are currently accepting applications. You can find the application here.

Is there a deadline to volunteer?

Yes. The 2021 application closes January 8, 2021. It is recommended to apply before November 30th to ensure that you can complete the training before tax season.
 

What is the time commitment?

VITA volunteers are asked to commit to one 2-4 hour shift per week, January 25 - April 15. Shifts are available during week days, evenings, and weekends.
 

I have a flexible schedule. Can I volunteer for more than one shift per week?

That would be great. On the application, you will be able to indicate your desire to volunteer for multiple shifts and your scheduling preferences. We will do our best to accommodate your requests.
 

How many tax returns will I prepare?

During your time commitment, you will prepare on average one tax return per hour.
 

When are sites scheduled?

VITA sites are offered at various times Monday through Saturday. Shifts vary from 2-4 hours in length.
 

Can I pick my site? Can I pick my shift?

Yes. When you complete the application, you can indicate your preferred site and shift. We make every attempt to accommodate volunteer preferences.
 

I’ve never prepared taxes before, and I’m not an accountant. Can I still be a VITA volunteer?

Definitely. We provide all of the training and materials that you need to be successful. Training is available online to complete at your own speed and/or classroom style classes to ensure your success.
 

I'm a high school/college student. Can I be a VITA volunteer?

Yes, if you can commit during tax season and have reliable transportation. If you are a student at Case High School or UW-Parkside, orientations and trainings will be available on campus.
 

I can’t commit to a shift. Is there a way I can still be a volunteer?

Yes. There is a lot of behind the scenes work with taxes. Just let us know your interest in the notes section.
 

What happens after I submit my application?

After you submit your application, you will receive an email with instructions on how to complete your background check through Sterling Volunteers.  Volunteers who pass the background check will not be notified. You will receive information regarding signing up for VITA volunteer orientation. If you can not attend a live session, you will have the opportunity to receive a recording. After you’ve completed orientation, you will receive information regarding in person training and will work towards obtaining your certification. You will not be able to volunteer at a VITA site until you have completed certification and have emailed your 13615 volunteer agreement to Lori Riffer.
 

When is the training? How long is it? Where is it?

VITA orientation will be held virtually the week of December 7th. A variety of days and times are available to choose from. Everyone must show a driver's license or state-issued photo ID. Orientation prepares volunteers to certify at home, on their own time, online. If volunteers prefer in-person training, they will be provided information regarding trainings offered through a partnership with FPP. All trainings are virtual.
 

I have a PTIN and need CE credits. Can I earn them through VITA?

Yes. You must pass the advanced training and volunteer for a minimum of 10 hours at sites during tax season to earn CE credits. You can also qualify for additional CE credits by teaching training sessions to other VITA volunteers.
 

Information for returning volunteers


 

I was a volunteer last year. Do I have to complete the application again?

Yes. It is the easiest way for us to update our records and be sure that we don't miss anyone who wants to be a VITA volunteer.
 

Do I have to attend orientation again this year?

Yes. Tax law is always changing. Attending returning tutor orientation will sharpen your skills and prepare you to certify. Returning volunteers are required to attend a one hour update orientation. This orientation will be provided virtually.
 

I am ready for more responsibility. Is there more I can do?

With one year or more under your belt, you can take on more responsibility by volunteering as a reviewer, assistant site coordinator or site coordinator. All training and support will be provided.
 

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