Income Tax Preparation

Earned Income Tax Credit Guidelines


What Should I Bring?

Residents who qualify should bring the following items with them to the site for tax preparation:

  • You must have Social Security cards and birth dates for you, your spouse, and dependent children
  • Valid photo identification
  • A copy of last year’s federal and state returns, if available
  • All wage and earning statements (Forms W-2, W2-G, 1099-R)
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099-INT and 1099-DIV)
  • Unemployment benefits statements (Form 1099-G)
  • Health Insurance Statement (1095-A, B or C)
  • To claim the Child/Dependent Care credit, bring total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider’s tax identifying number (Social Security number or the provider’s business Employer Identification Number) and provider’s address
  • If you wish to have your refund or a portion of it deposited directly into your savings or checking account, bring bank routing transit and account numbers
  • Form 8332 or similar document for non-custodial parent claiming child, if applicable
  • To file electronically on a ‘married filing jointly’ tax return, both spouses must be present to sign required forms
  • New Identity Theft Pin Number


What Is VITA?

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program helps income-eligible people file their federal and New York State tax returns for free, and claim the Earned Income Tax Credit.

If you worked in 2014, but earned less than the income guidelines listed in this brochure, you may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit — even if you are not required to file an income tax return!

Our IRS-certified volunteers can help you file your tax returns for free, and help you claim the refund that you are entitled to. That’s money you can use for a car, to save for a home, to get caught up on bills, or save for the future!


What is the Earned Income Tax Credit?

The Earned Income Tax Credit is a tax credit for people who work and earned $52,427 or less in the 2014 tax year (depending on filing status and number of dependents; see the income guidelines listed in this brochure). A tax credit generally puts more money back in your pocket because it reduces the amount of tax you owe.


Don’t Get a Refund Anticipation Loan (RAL)!

  • Stop borrowing money that already belongs to you!
  • Stop borrowing against your own tax refund!

RALs are extremely expensive: Loan fees typically range from $30-$90, completing tax forms costs from $100-300, and electronic filing generally costs $50.00.

An RAL could hurt your credit rating because the loan fee must be paid even if the IRS denies your refund or your refund is smaller than expected.

An RAL means you will have less money to help pay bills, take care of yourself and your children, and improve your financial

At VITA sites tax returns can be prepared and filed for free.  Your entire refund will go directly to you!

Why Should I Volunteer?
  1. No previous experience is required. Volunteers receive specialized training from certified VITA/TCE volunteers and can serve as greeters, reviewers or tax preparers.
  2. IRS provides free tax law training, e-file training and all the materials needed to prepare basic individual income tax returns.
  3. The hours are flexible. Volunteers are asked to serve an average of three to four hours per week from mid-January through the tax deadline, which is April 17 in 2018.
  4. Volunteer sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools and other convenient locations.
  5. Most VITA/TCE sites also offer free electronic filing of tax returns.

Last year more than 88,000 volunteers answered the call and made a difference by preparing more than 3 million tax returns for free at thousands of sites nationwide. Anyone can volunteer. It can be an exciting, educational and enjoyable experience. Think about becoming a volunteer and see what a difference it makes in your life as well as others.

Additional information about becoming a volunteer can be found at – or by sending an email to

You can get additional information about the Chautauqua County VITA program by visitng


Where Can I Go?

Appointments are available from February 3 through April 17, 2018.  To schedule an appointment or get more information call 2-1-1 (or 1-888-696-9211).

United Way of Northern Chautauqua County, 626 Central Avenue, Dunkirk, NY

February 3, 10, 17 and 24
March 3 and 17
April 7 and 14

February 15 and 22
March 1, 8, 22 and 27
April 5 and 12

SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator, 214 Central Avenue, Dunkirk

February 3, 10 and 24
March 3 and 24
April 7 and 14

February 5, 12, 19 and 26
March 5, 19 and 26
April 9 and 16

February 8 and 22
March 1, 8, 22 and 29
April 5 and 12

Forestville Central School, High School Library, 4 Academy Street, Forestville
Saturday, March 10

Patterson Library, 40 South Portage Street, Westfield
Thursday, March 15

Silver Creek Central School, High School Library, 1 Dickinson Street, Silver Creek
Saturday, March 24

Do It Yourself

Know enough to file your taxes on your own?  Have internet access? Visit for easy, free tax help you can trust.

More than half of individuals and families in the United States earned $64,000 or less last year, making them eligible to receive free tax preparation and filing assistance this tax season. Unfortunately, many of these families are unaware of their options and could pay, on average, more than $200 to file their federal and state tax is the only free online platform that can be used to file federal and state taxes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The MyFreeTaxes Partnership provides free state and federal tax preparation and filing assistance for qualified individuals. It’s easy, safe, secure and 100 percent free. Powered by the Walmart Foundation  — in cooperation with Goodwill Industries InternationalNational Disability Institute, and United Way Worldwide — the MyFreeTaxes Partnership’s online and in-person tax preparation and filing services have helped millions of families claim tax credits and refunds since 2009. Tax filing software provided through powered by H&R Block.

Offering free English and Spanish tax support, MyFreeTaxes provides qualifying filers access to tax coaches for in-person, self-preparation assistance. The online tool allows taxpayers to self-file for free using a simple step-by-step process that includes free telephone, email and online chat support from IRS-certified specialists. More than 47 million people self-prepared their tax returns last year, a six percent increase from 2013 filing data, according to the IRS.

This partnership is made possible through the collaboration of nearly 1,000 partners including the IRS, colleges and universities, nonprofit organizations, and state and local government agencies.

This national campaign empowers working individuals and families with low-to-moderate income to access free tax  preparation and filing assistance services online at home.