VENTURA, Calif. – The County of Ventura Human Services Agency is partnering with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program to host some of the nine sites located across the county where individuals and families with earnings up to $54,000 can receive free tax preparation assistance.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, or VITA, helps eligible taxpayers take advantage of state and federal Earned Income Tax Credits, as well as the child tax credit. Through the program, IRS-trained and certified volunteers assist low and moderate income individuals and families to prepare and file their taxes. Appointments are required and can be made by calling 2-1-1. Scheduling early is encouraged as slots tend to fill up quickly.
This year, families earning up to $22,300 may be eligible for California’s equivalent credit, CalEITC, and for the first time, self-employed workers also qualify.
For those who are comfortable with computers, the United Way has partnered with H&R Block to offer www.myfreetaxes.org, a user-friendly program which allows taxpayers who earned up to $66,000 to file their taxes online for free.
Although the deadline to file has been extended to April 17, due to the recent fires and mudslides, individuals and businesses within the disaster area will be automatically identified by the IRS and have until April 30, 2018 to complete tax filing and payment. Individuals who live or have a business outside the covered disaster area must call the IRS disaster hotline at 866-562-5227 to request the extension.
The VITA program is made available through the Financial Empowerment Partnership, a coalition that includes the United Way, County of Ventura Human Services Agency, Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation and the IRS.