Program seeks to help low-and-moderate-income residents file annual tax returns
For millions of Americans, maximizing this year’s tax refund is crucial. In the wake of the pandemic, many families are counting on every penny to pay for essentials, cover rent or mortgage payments, or build up emergency savings. To help, United Way of Chester County has expanded the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in partnership with Life Transforming Ministries. VITA provides free tax preparation for low-and moderate-income households and has become an essential service to thousands of Chester County residents. This program is made possible in part with a grant received by United Way of Chester County from the United States IRS as well as funding from the United Way of Chester County’s Community Impact & Innovation Fund.
VITA offers drop-off site locations throughout Chester County and recently expanded into Southern Chester County. Locations include Coatesville, Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Pottstown, Phoenixville, Royersford, Parkesburg and Landenberg. The program also helps taxpayers access all tax credits for which they are eligible — including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). By partnering with the United Way of Chester County, VITA also provides My Free Taxes, a free, do-it-yourself online tax filing program with no income restrictions.
Last year, VITA served 2,300 households in Chester County, generating an economic impact of over $4.5 million. To have your tax return(s) prepared at a VITA site you will need to bring the following information:
- Picture ID for primary and secondary taxpayer
- All forms W2/1099 or other income
- Original or copy of social security cards for everyone on the return
- 1098 education forms
- 1095- A Market place health insurance forms
- 2019 Earned income if VITA did not prepare your 2019 taxes
- 2021 Stimulus check amount
- 2021 Advanced Child Credit payment amounts, if applicable
- Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider’s tax identifying number (the provider’s Social Security Number or the provider’s business Employer Identification Number) if appropriate
- Copy of last year’s return (if available)
To learn more about this program, please visit www.ChesterCountyFreeTaxes.com.