Free Tax Preparation & EITC

Earn It! Keep It! Save It! VITA Program

Father, mother and son smiling outside.

Households earning up to $57,000 are eligible to use the free services of a VITA site.

Tax returns are prepared and filed by trained volunteer tax preparers.

We are committed to ensuring eligible workers in California are able to file a tax return and get the refund they’ve earned free of charge. However, we also want to make sure we’re protecting the health and safety of the communities where we work.

Due to COVID-19, taxes will only be prepared using either a Virtual or Drop-off process. There will be NO face-to-face appointments with a tax preparation volunteer, as all sites remain closed.

Tax preparation begins February 1 and continues through April 30, 2021.

VIRTUAL – to file your return, visit GetYourRefund.org/vcunitedway. Instructions will be given to upload tax documents using either computer or cell phone.

DROP-OFF – to file your return place your documents (listed below) in an envelope marked VITA and drop off at any of the following locations beginning February 1, 2021.

24/7 in the secure metal drop boxes used for County programs at:

  • East County Community Service Center, 2900 N. Madera Road, Simi Valley
  • North Oxnard America’s Job Center, 2901 N. Ventura Road, Oxnard
  • Ventura Community Service Center, 4651 Telephone Road, Ventura
  • Santa Paula Community Service Center, 725 E. Main Street, Santa Paula

Documents needed to prepare return:

  • IRS Form 13614 Intake/Interview
  • IRS Form 14446 Virtual VITA/TCE Taxpayer Consent

Download the forms here if submitting your documents via a drop box. If submitting virtually, the forms will be provided.

Forms may also be picked up at the following locations:

  • In the lobby of the East County Community Service Center, 2900 N. Madera Road, Simi Valley, from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • At the table outside the entrance to the Ventura Community Service Center, 4651 Telephone Rd., Ventura, from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Copy of Social Security Card or ITIN for each family member
  • Copy of all 1099 forms for other income
  • Copy of picture ID for the taxpayer and spouse, if applicable
  • Selfie of taxpayer holding picture ID to verify identify
  • Selfie of spouse holding picture ID to verify identify, if applicable
  • Copy of Form 1095-A for Covered CA, if applicable
  • Child Care provider information: Name, Address, and Tax ID, if available
  • Canceled check for direct deposit of tax return
  • Copy of 2019 Tax return – pages 1 & 2, and Schedules 1, 2 & 3, if applicable

Please, copies only, no original documents.

All tax filers both Virtual and Drop-off will be contacted via Get-Your Refund by phone, email or text.

If your household earned $66,000 or less in 2020, one option for those with a simple return, (for example, a single filer with up to two W-2’s) you may file your taxes online for free at www.MyFreeTaxes.org.

*A household includes all individuals listed on your tax return.

What is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a tax credit for low- to moderate-income working families and individuals. The EITC can help you reduce your tax liability and, in many cases, put money in your pocket.

To qualify for the EITC, you must have worked during at least part of 2020 and meet certain income requirements.

You must file your taxes to receive the EITC, even if you did not earn enough money to be required to file.

The EITC benefit is retroactive for three years, so review whether you filed for the EITC in recent years. If you meet the eligibility requirements and have not filed for the previous three years you may be entitled to an even larger refund check!

Who Qualifies for CalEITC?

If you have low income and work, you may qualify for CalEITC. This credit gives you a refund or reduces your tax owed.

If you meet the CalEITC requirement and have a child under the age of 6 by the end of the tax year, you may also qualify for the Young Child Tax Credit. The maximum filers may receive is $1,000 per family.

Together, these state credits can put hundreds or even thousands of dollars in your pocket. Filing your state tax return is required to claim both of these credits.

Check if you qualify for CalEITC

You may qualify for CalEITC if:

  • You’re at least 18 years old.
  • You have earned income within certain limits.

The amount of CalEITC you may get depends on your income and family size.

You must:

  • Have taxable earned income.
  • Have a valid Social Security Number or ITIN for you, your spouse, or any qualifying children.
  • File jointly if married.
  • Live in California for more than half the year.

Sources of earned income

Income can be from:

  • W-2 wages.
  • Self-employment.
  • Salaries, tips.
  • Other employee wages subject to California withholding.

What you’ll get

Review the chart below to see how much you may get when you file your tax year 2020 return. The following income guidelines for the 2020 Tax Year will help you determine if you may be eligible for CalEITC. The threshold is based on tax year 2019 AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) limits.

HOW MUCH CAN I RECEIVE FROM CALEITC?

2020 CalEITC credit
Number of qualifying childrenCalifornia maximum incomeCalEITC (up to)IRS EITC (up to)
None$30,000$243$538
1$30,000$1,626$3,584
2$30,000$2,691$5,920
3 or more$30,000$3,027$6,660

CalEITC Calculatorhttps://www.caleitc4me.org/

Will this affect my government benefits?

Participation in free tax preparation or any other additional services will not impact CalWORKS, CalFRESH, or Medi-Cal benefits.

Thank you for your understanding during this unprecedented tax season. Please stay safe and healthy.

Learn more and stay updated: www.IRS.gov/coronavirus

For more information, call 805.485.6288, x226.