Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
HRDC’s VITA Program, (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) will begin processing 2020 tax returns on January 25, 2021. VITA will begin accepting appointments January 4.
COVID-19 protocol requires a different process for this year’s applicants. Once an appointment has been scheduled, the participant will receive a release form, intake form, and a tax checklist. These items will be sent via email, or stamped letter. You will indicate your preference when you make the appointment. The VITA participant will then meet with a tax volunteer for a 15 minute intake meeting. At that time you will be required to provide a signed release, and the tax documents identified on the tax checklist. The tax volunteer working with you on your returns must have these items to complete your tax filing.
At the intake meeting, a certified tax volunteer will go over your checklist, collect your documents and scan them into your file. Following the intake meeting, a tax volunteer will complete your return on a separate day. Once your return is finished, you will be contacted to schedule either a virtual or in-person review where you will sign your return allowing for the electronic filing of your completed return.
It is important to understand that the VITA tax volunteers will prepare your state and federal returns for 2020 only. Your filing for all other years and or amendments that you make to your return must occur after tax season. The income threshold for 2020, which is the maximum amount you can earn and still participate in this program is $57,000. If you have a simple return and want to self-file, you can go to www.myfreetaxes.com This free website is provided by a partnership with United Way and HR Block.
COVID-19 protocol will be followed at all times including masking, social distancing, and a temperature check at the time of the appointment. If for any reason you are ill, please reschedule.
To set an appointment time, call us at 406-247-4710.
Do your part, to help our community stay safe and well in 2021.
Tips for taxpayers to make filing easier
To speed refunds and help with their tax filing, the IRS urges people to follow these simple steps:
- File electronically and use direct deposit for the quickest refunds.
- Check IRS.gov for the latest tax information, including the latest on Economic Impact Payments. There is no need to call.
- For those who may be eligible for stimulus payments, they should carefully review the guidelines for the Recovery Rebate Credit. Most people received Economic Impact Payments automatically, and anyone who received the maximum amount does not need to include any information about their payments when they file. However, those who didn’t receive a payment or only received a partial payment may be eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2020 tax return. Tax preparation software, including IRS Free File, will help taxpayers figure the amount.
- Remember, advance stimulus payments received separately are not taxable, and they do not reduce the taxpayer’s refund when they file in 2021.
Key filing season dates
There are several important dates taxpayers should keep in mind for this year’s filing season:
- January 15. IRS Free File opens. Taxpayers can begin filing returns through Free File partners; tax returns will be transmitted to the IRS starting Feb. 12. Tax software companies also are accepting tax filings in advance.
- January 29. Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day to raise awareness of valuable tax credits available to many people – including the option to use prior-year income to qualify.
- February 12. IRS begins 2021 tax season. Individual tax returns begin being accepted and processing begins.
- February 22. Projected date for the IRS.gov Where’s My Refund tool being updated for those claiming EITC and ACTC, also referred to as PATH Act returns.
- First week of March. Tax refunds begin reaching those claiming EITC and ACTC (PATH Act returns) for those who file electronically with direct deposit and there are no issues with their tax returns.
- April 15. Deadline for filing 2020 tax returns.
- October 15. Deadline to file for those requesting an extension on their 2020 tax returns
IRS2Go is the official mobile app of the IRS
Check your refund status, make a payment, find free tax preparation assistance, sign up for helpful tax tips, and more!
IRS2Go is available in both English and Spanish.
Montana Elderly Homeowner/Renter Credit
Self-File Online Anytime
Why use MyFreeTaxes?
- Easy-to-use , interview-based computer program
- Convenient—prepare taxes at home, at the office, or wherever an internet connection and computer are available
- Saves time and cost of purchasing commercial tax products
- Available in all 50 states
Who can use MyFreeTaxes?
- Individuals or families with incomes of $66,000 or less
- Great for tax filers with simple returns, college students, single filers, part-time workers, individuals with disabilities, regardless of age.
What software product does MyFreeTaxes use?
- The MyFreeTaxes software is an H&R Block product which is being used by United Ways across the country. However, HRDC does not endorse any particular commercial tax professional.
For more information about VITA
Call (406) 247-4710 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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.