Frequently Asked Questions

What is Volunteer Income Tax Assistance?

There are hundreds of VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) sites across Michigan where you can have an IRS-trained volunteer prepare and e-file your state and federal tax return for you for free. You must meet income requirements to be eligible, however it you qualify for the for the Earned Income Tax Credit, Medicaid, Food Stamps or any other assistance program, there is a good chance you will qualify for free tax help, too.

What is the Earned Income Tax Credit?

Many workers and their families are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). There is both a federal EITC and a state EITC, so be sure to claim both! Your state credit is equal to 6 percent of your federal credit for Tax Year 2016. For more information, click here.

Is VITA as good as going to a paid preparer?

No, IT IS BETTER! Being free doesn’t mean lower quality and unlike some paid preparers who advertise free service for a simple return, a VITA site will never charge you for claiming the EITC, e-filing or fillinf out additional forms. With VITA, you get a preparer who has been trained and certified by the IRS who will not try to sell you any additional services. No gimmicks. No games. Just high quality tax preparation services for free!

How do I get Free help with my taxes?

Call 2-1-1 to find a VITA site near you or check back here in January when all the VITA site locations will be posted by the IRS.

How can I claim the two earned income credits?

The federal credit is available by completing Schedule EIC in the Federal 1040 or 1040A. The state credit is computed by entering your federal credit amount into your MI-1040 tax form and then multiplying by 6%, so do your federal taxes first!

What do I need to bring to my appointment?

  1. Proof of identification – Picture ID
  2. Social Security Cards for you, your spouse and dependents or a Social Security Number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration OR Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter for you, your spouse and dependents
  3. Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN
  4. Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return
  5. Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-Misc from all employers
  6. Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
  7. Health Care forms, especially if you purchased health insurance through the MarketPlace (Forms 1095-A, 1095-B or 1095-)
  8. A copy of last year’s federal and state returns if available
  9. Proof of bank account routing numbers and account numbers for Direct Deposit, such as a blank check
  10. Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider’s tax identifying number (the provider’s Social Security Number or the provider’s business Employer Identification Number) if appropriate
  11. To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.