Volunteer Income Tax Assistance
The Goodwill NCW VITA program started in 2004 serving a few hundred taxpayers. Today the program serves more than 1,700 taxpayers. Since its inception, this partnership between Goodwill NCW and the IRS has trained hundreds of volunteers (students, professionals and community members) who’ve helped thousands of low-to-moderate income, disabled or limited English-speaking individuals receive millions of dollars in tax refunds.
Each year, IRS-certified volunteers at Goodwill NCW contribute more than 3,000 hours to help taxpayers save thousands of dollars in commercial tax preparation fees and claim valuable refundable tax credits like the Earned Income Credit (EIC), Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Wisconsin Homestead Credit. EIC is the federal government’s largest benefit for workers, and together EIC and CTC greatly reduce poverty for working families. In 2017, these credits nationwide lifted an estimated 8.9 million people out of poverty, including 4.8 million children. In addition, the Wisconsin Homestead Credit provides relief to many low-income property owners and renters.
All of our volunteers complete required training certifications in order to prepare tax returns. Many taxpayers return to our site year after year because of the integrity and training of our volunteers, as well as the level of care they receive. According to the IRS,
“VITA services are not only free, they are a reliable and trusted source for tax preparation. All volunteers must take and pass tax law training that meets or exceeds IRS standards. This training includes maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of all taxpayer information. In addition to requiring volunteers to certify their knowledge of tax laws, the IRS requires a quality check for every return prepared at the VITA site.” Read more…
You can help area individuals and households avoid costly tax practices and increase their financial stability by providing valuable free tax assistance. See our volunteer opportunities.
VITA stands for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, we partner with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). We provide free tax help to people with low-to-moderate incomes, generally less than $66,000, people with disabilities and limited English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns.
Valet VITA is a service designed to save taxpayers time. Instead of waiting at a VITA site to meet with a tax preparer, taxpayers can use Valet VITA to have their documents scanned to be prepared within one to two weeks. Taxpayers are then able to leave the VITA site, documents in hand, and go about their day. Once the tax return is complete, the taxpayers are called to return to the original intake site to pick up a hard copy of their tax return and sign the consent to e-file.
Most Valet VITA tax returns are processed within 5-7 business days.
In-person Valet VITA appointments may fill up quickly. If you are unable to schedule an in-person appointment, you can consider using the 100% virtual Get Your Refund option or the DIY free software at www.myfreetaxes.com.
Tax filers answer simple questions about their situation, securely upload their tax documents (from their computer, tablet or smartphone), and get connected with VITA to answer their questions.
The VITA team will remotely prepare the tax return, speak with the tax filer to review their return, and file the return with tax filer consent.
No. This is a free service, thanks to Goodwill NCW, the IRS and our dedicated volunteers.
Federal refunds are generally issued within 21 days after the return is received. For the status of your federal refund, visit irs.gov/refunds or call 800-829-1954. You will need your Social Security number, filing status and refund amount.
State of Wisconsin refunds, if directly deposited, are generally issued in less than three weeks. For the status of your state of Wisconsin refund, visit https://www.revenue.wi.gov/pages/apps/taxreturnstatus.aspx or call 866-947-7363. You will need your Social Security number and the refund amount.
Volunteers are required to take an IRS-approved exam.