Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program provides free income tax return preparation and electronic filing for individuals and families who make less than $54,000. Both state and federal tax returns are prepared by IRS trained and certified community volunteers.
If you feel qualified to file your own taxes, but don’t have access to a computer, HRDC can help. Our trained volunteers are available to answer your questions and assist you in logging into the United Way Portal: My Free Taxes. The income limit for self-filing is $64,000. Call (406) 247-4732 to check computer availability.
When is the VITA site open?
In-person tax assistance is available at HRDC in Billings and Hardin during the tax season (late January to mid-April). During the rest of the year, the site operates on a limited appointment-only basis. Call (406) 247-4760 to make an appointment from May 1, 2018 – December 15, 2018.
What do I need to bring?
You must bring the following items or you will not be able to complete your tax return at the VITA site.
- The actual Social Security cards for taxpayer, spouse, and all dependents.
- A valid picture ID for taxpayer and spouse.
- All tax documents and forms issued for the tax year, including: Forms W-2, 1098, 1099, Healthcare Form 1095 A, B, or C, K-1, and dependent care amount spent with provider EIN.
- Last year’s tax return.
- Check statement or blank check, savings account number.
I haven’t filed a tax return for a few years. Can you do past-year taxes?
Yes. Our site is equipped to prepare tax returns for the past two tax seasons on an appointment-only basis. Please call (406) 247-4760 to make an appointment on Wednesdays between May and January 15.
What are my options for receiving my refund, and how soon can I expect it?
You can either have your refund direct deposited into a bank account or have it mailed to you as a check. Direct deposits typically arrive in 10-14 days while paper checks take an additional 1-2 weeks. For direct deposit, you must bring your routing number and account number to the tax site (typically, as a blank check). Please note: there will be a delay in receiving refunds until 2/27/18 if you claim the Earned Income Tax Credit.
What are my options if I owe money on my return?
The IRS website details your options for paying off your tax bill.
Can you prepare other (non-Montana) state tax returns?
Yes. We are able to prepare and file returns for any state in which you had income or residency during the tax year.
None of HRDC’s VITA site times work with my schedule. Are there other sites that might help me?
I made more than $54,000 last year (or otherwise don’t meet the site guidelines). Can HRDC still help me?
Taxpayers whose tax situation falls outside VITA guidelines will be able to use site resources to prepare and file their own tax return electronically, using the IRS’ free online services. VITA volunteers will be available to provide limited filing assistance and to direct you to appropriate tax resources.
What kind of returns cannot be prepared at a VITA site?
The following list contains returns that are NOT able to be prepared at a VITA site because they are out of our scope:
- Farm income
- Rental income
- Business income with more than $10,000 in expenses or a net loss for the year, or had an inventory, employees, depreciation, or business use of home expenses, rental/lease of machinery expenses
- Deduction of loss due to casualty or theft
- Adoption expenses credit
- Moving expenses deduction
- Alternative fuel/plug-in vehicle credit
VITA Locations and Times
7 N 31st St (lower level)
Walk-in or by appointment.
To schedule an appointment, call: (406) 247-4710
January 31 – April 14, 2018
- Wednesdays, 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm (at HRDC, 7 N 31st St)
- Thursdays, 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm (at HRDC, 7 N 31st St)
- Fridays, 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm (at HRDC, 7 N 31st St)
- Saturdays, 11:30 am – 4:30 pm (at MSU-B Student Union Building February-April, at HRDC in March)
501 N Center Ave
To schedule an appointment, call: (406) 655-3500
February 6 – April 3, 2018
- Tuesdays, 9:00 am – 11:00 am
For more information
Call (406) 247-4760 or Email email@example.com
The VITA program is sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service and supported by local organizations including Montana Credit Unions for Community Development, Montana State University Billings, and HRDC.