WHAT IS 'Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or VITA'

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or VITA is an Internal Revenue Service program that provides free tax preparation services to low-income taxpayers.

BREAKING DOWN 'Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or VITA'

VITA is a resource available to qualified low-income taxpayers through which volunteers provide tax assistance and advice. VITA sets up its services at a variety of public locations such as libraries, schools and shopping malls, and in certain other high-need areas. In addition to the tax preparation services offered, many locations offer free electronic filing services to qualifying taxpayers.

With access to professional tax services, any individual can benefit from the guidance of someone versed in the complex rules for certain tax credits. Specifically the VITA program helps people who make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities and taxpayers who speak limited English. The IRS makes VITA available to any individual from these populations who needs assistance in preparing their tax returns. It has been instrumental in helping households receive thousands of dollars in additional refunds.

Benefits of Having a Specialist Help You Prepare Your Taxes

Many people use online tax software to file their income taxes. These programs offer convenience and often are easy to use, but when it comes to more complex tax returns, a tax professional may be able to get you more money back. Not only do tax professionals know how to get you the most money on your return, but you are less likely to face an audit when you use a tax professional. While online tax programs work well for simple tax returns, they may not be your best bet for complex returns with multiple W2s, deductions or tax breaks. If your tax return has multiple W2s or if you have several deductions, exemptions or tax breaks, you may want to have a tax professional prepare your return.

Other Tax Assistant Programs

In addition to VITA, the IRS provides certified Tax Counseling for the Elderly or TCE. TCE offers free tax help for all taxpayers, but particularly to individuals 60 years of age and older. The TCE, as opposed to the VITA program, specializes in pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors. The IRS funds the TCE.

The IRS provides a variety of resources on its website and has teamed with a number of tax preparation services and software companies to provide free tax service for many individuals. In order to receive free service you must meet certain qualifications, such as earning less than $57,000 per year and being between the ages of 23 and 55.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Tax Liability

    A tax liability is the amount an individual, corporation or other ...
  2. Tax Return

    A tax return is a form(s) filed with a taxing authority which ...
  3. Tax Credit

    An amount of money that taxpayers are permitted to subtract dollar ...
  4. Section 1341 Credit

    A tax credit available for taxpayers who are repaid in a later ...
  5. Low-Income Housing Tax Credit

    The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit provides an incentive for home ...
  6. Tax Fairness

    Tax fairness is a tax system that aims to create a system of ...
Related Articles
  1. Taxes

    Places To Find Free Help For Taxes

    Are you in need of free tax help? If so, here are some of the best places to look
  2. Personal Finance

    6 Volunteer Opportunities For Finance Professionals

    Here are six ways financial professionals can volunteer their expertise and possibly advance their careers along the way.
  3. Personal Finance

    Pros And Cons Of Volunteering In Your Career Field

    Here are some positives and negatives of volunteering in the same area you work in.
  4. Taxes

    6 Sources for Free Tax Help

    From community-based services to free software, there are many free resources to help with your taxes.
  5. Taxes

    Top Software to Prepare Taxes Free by April 2018

    A service that will prepare taxes free of charge? It's no myth, as long as you have a simple return. Read on to find the top preparers.
  6. Retirement

    Retirement Programs That Help Low Income Seniors

    Plans and strategies for building a healthy and satisfying life, even if your retirement income isn't as high as you wish it could be.
  7. Taxes

    Making Sense Of The Tax Code

    If tax rules and regulations are Greek to you, read on to learn how to decipher them.
  8. Taxes

    Form 9465: Don't Pay Your Back Taxes Without It

    This form can lighten your tax load if you owe Uncle Sam. And you can often apply online.
  9. Taxes

    Give Your Taxes Some Credit

    A few tax credits can greatly increase the amount of money you get back on your return.
  10. Taxes

    20 Tax Changes You Need To Know About

    Don't miss out on the tax changes. Here's a list that you need to know about.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What's the difference between a tax rate and a tax bracket?

    These two terms are often incorrectly used interchangeably. Find out the difference between your tax rate and your tax bracket. ... Read Answer >>
  2. How does the marginal tax rate system work?

    The marginal tax rate is the rate of tax that income earners incur on each additional dollar of income. Read Answer >>
  3. Who needs to fill out IRS Form Schedule B?

    If you have several investments, there's a good chance you'll need to fill out a IRS Form Schedule B. Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Economies of Scale

    Economies of scale refer to reduced costs per unit that arise from increased total output of a product. For example, a larger ...
  2. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet its short-term obligations with its most liquid assets.
  3. Leverage

    Leverage results from using borrowed capital as a source of funding when investing to expand the firm's asset base and generate ...
  4. Financial Risk

    Financial risk is the possibility that shareholders will lose money when investing in a company if its cash flow fails to ...
  5. Enterprise Value (EV)

    Enterprise Value (EV) is a measure of a company's total value, often used as a more comprehensive alternative to equity market ...
  6. Relative Strength Index - RSI

    Relative Strength Indicator (RSI) is a technical momentum indicator that compares the magnitude of recent gains to recent ...
Trading Center