SAN JOSE — Filling out income tax forms may be a daunting experience, especially to anyone who's not fluent in English or who can't afford to pay a professional tax preparer. Santa Clara County is inviting low-income, elderly, limited English speaking and disabled residents to use the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), a free annual service coordinated by the Internal Revenue Service and supported by more than 100 trained IRS certified volunteers.
"For many, tax season may come with apprehension and frustration," said Supervisor Ken Yeager, president of the county board of supervisors. "We are glad the county continues to partner every year in this voluntary effort to provide convenient locations for free and reliable tax preparation assistance."
Currently, more than 40 sites throughout the county are offering the service through mid-April, including three county libraries and one county Social Services office. Assistance is available to residents whose 2012 income was less than $51,000 and who are not filling under the designation "Married, Filing Separate."
"As a professional tax preparer for 20 years, I know firsthand how tax regulations are complex and change from year to year," said Supervisor Mike Wasserman. "It can be a relief to work with experienced volunteers with up-to- date knowledge."
At some VITA locations, residents will need to schedule appointments. Assistance will be given in a first-come, first-served basis. To maximize federal and California State tax preparation assistance, those seeking help should bring:
The 2013 deadline to file taxes is April 15. For more information on the this tax preparation assistance program, and a list of other VITA participating locations and schedules in Santa Clara County, call 211, the county referral line, or visit www.211scc.org.
Through April 13
77 Harrison Avenue, Campbell
Tuesdays: 6 to 8 p.m. (not offered on March 19)
Saturdays: 10 a.m. to noon (on Saturday and March 23, VITA services will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
Assistance in English, Russian and Mandarin
Through April 6 (Closed Saturday and March 9)
10800 Torre Ave, Cupertino
Saturdays: 1 to 5 p.m.
Walk-in and Self Prep Site
Milpitas Public Library
Through April 13
160 N. Main Street, Milpitas
Saturdays: 10 a.m. to noon
* E-File and Individual Tax payer Identification Number (ITIN) tax returns only.
No paper returns are prepared at this site.
Assistance in English and Spanish
Social Services Assistance Application Center - CalWORKs
Through April 11
1879 Senter Rd. #10, San Jose
Tuesdays: Noon to 4 p.m.
Thursdays: Noon to 4 p.m.
Walk- in and Drop-Off Site
Assistance in English, Spanish and Vietnamese
* E-File and Individual Tax payer Identification Number (ITIN) tax returns only. No paper returns are prepared at this site.
Source: Santa Clara County