What is VITA?

VITA stands for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and is a nationwide IRS program that offers FREE tax preparation assistance to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. United Way of Stanislaus County partners with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), churches, non-profits and other local organizations to offer tax help at VITA Tax Assistance sites across Stanislaus County. Tax preparation services are provided by trained, IRS-certified volunteers in a number of languages. All locations are IRS authorized e-file providers.

Who qualifies for VITA free tax preparation?

Generally, any working U.S. citizen or legal resident who has a valid Social Security or ITIN number AND a combined household income less than $54,000. However, Married Filing Separately returns are not able to be prepared at any VITA site. IRS-certified VITA volunteers are trained to prepare basic Forms 1040EZ, 1040A, 1040 with Schedule A, B, limited Schedule CEZ, C and California State Income Tax returns.

How can I find a VITA site?

VITA and TCE sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls and other convenient locations across Stanislaus County including Modesto, Turlock, Oakdale and Patterson. To locate a VITA site dial 2-1-1 or 1-877-211-7826 to speak to a specialist who can direct you to a site nearest you.


Items to bring to your appointment:

  • Proof of identification (photo ID)

  • Social Security cards for you, your spouse and dependents 

  • An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter may be substituted for you, your spouse and your dependents if you do not have a Social Security number

  • Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN

  • Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return

  • Wage and earning statements (Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R,1099-Misc) from all employers

  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)

  • All Forms 1095, Health Insurance Statements

  • Health Insurance Exemption Certificate, if received

  • A copy of last year’s federal and state returns, if available

  • Proof of bank account routing and account numbers for direct deposit such as a blank check

  • To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms

  • Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider's tax identifying number such as their Social Security number or business Employer Identification Number

  • Forms 1095-A, B or C, Affordable Health Care Statements

  • Copies of income transcripts from IRS and state, if applicable

Assisted Self Preparation

At select tax sites, taxpayers also have an option to prepare their own basic federal and state tax return for free using Web-based tax preparation software with an IRS-certified volunteer to help guide you through the process. This option is only available at locations that list “Self-Prep” in the site listing. To locate the site nearest you dial 2-1-1 or 1-877-211-7826 and a specialist can direct you.

Self Preparation

Free self preparation is available at if your annual income is $64,000 or less.

Call 2-1-1 or 209-523-4562 for more information or to make an appointment.