The federal income tax season has reached its midpoint, and the City of San Antonio is urging taxpayers to file their returns.
With four weeks remaining before the April 15 tax deadline, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program encourages eligible filers who have not yet filed their returns to visit a VITA site and get ahead of the long lines that form in April.
"Many tax filers who receive refunds from the IRS have already filed their returns, but VITA continues to offer free tax preparation to all eligible taxpayers in San Antonio," said Melody Woosley, Human Services Department interim director. "Taxpayers who expect to owe taxes or who are unsure can visit a VITA site, have their tax return prepared, and still have time to plan for their IRS payment by April 15 if they owe."
Tax filers who need personalized guidance on saving or budgeting for income taxes owed to the IRS can call and make a free appointment with a professional financial counselor at one of San Antonio's two new Financial Empowerment Centers located at The Neighborhood Place (3014 Rivas St., 210-431-4425) and the Claude Black Community Center (2805 E. Commerce St., 210-352-7087).
23 VITA sites are operating across the city through April 15. Individuals and households who earned less than $55,000 in total income last year are eligible for free income tax preparation and electronic filing. Basic federal income tax returns are prepared by trained, IRS-certified VITA volunteers.
Local businesses and organizations also have the convenient option of requesting VITA's mobile team to their office, where volunteers can prepare tax returns on-site for their qualifying employees free of charge. Companies interested in scheduling one or more opportunities for a mobile team visit should contact Sheila Anderson-Ruth at the City's Department of Human Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or (210) 207-2817). Companies may also contact Nick Espinoza at Catholic Charities at email@example.com or (210) 222-2975.
All businesses and organizations interested in hosting a VITA Mobile Team must be able to provide on-site workspaces for up to four tax preparation computers and power outlets for mobile equipment.
The VITA program is sponsored by the IRS and a city-wide coalition of non-profit organizations and businesses led by the City of San Antonio, United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County, and Catholic Charities of San Antonio, Inc.
When visiting a VITA site for free tax preparation, all filers must bring the following with them:
- Valid photo identification
- Social Security Card(s) or Individual Tax Identification Number(s) for all family members
- All W-2 Forms
- Copy of prior year tax return (if applicable)
- 1099 Forms (if applicable)
- If filing jointly, spouse must be present to review/sign completed return
For more information or to find a nearby VITA site and its business hours, tax filers can go online to www.vitasa.org or call the United Way Helpline at 2-1-1.
Last year, VITA filed over 34,000 tax returns and recovered an estimated $65 million in refunds and credits for San Antonio taxpayers while saving them an estimated $9 million in tax preparation fees.