Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

What is VITA? 

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is a national program staffed by local volunteers to provide free preparation and electronic filing of tax returns. It’s an important service to thousands of individuals and families in Racine County with low-to-moderate incomes who are eligible for tax credits. Our IRS certified volunteers help to take the stress and confusion out of tax season and save clients on average $200 per tax return.

Who qualifies

VITA services a variety of taxpayers. The service that fits your needs best, depends on your household income and tax situation. See below for a listing of services and the type of client each service fits best.

How do I make an appointment?

Click on the "schedule VITA appointment" button below to be directed to our online scheduling system or call 262-383-2504 for our automated phone scheduling system. 

You have the option of the following locations, days and times. All of our in-person, full-service and drop-off sites are by appointment only. See below for more information on services.

Full Service - select tax-preparation in scheduler for available appointments

Workforce Solutions, 1717 Taylor Ave. - Mondays and Wednesdays from 1pm-7pm. Appointments available every hour. Last appointment booked for 6pm.

Racine Public Library, 75 7th St. - Thursdays from 2-7pm. Appointments available every hour. Last appointment booked for 6pm.

JI Case High School, 7345 Washington Ave. - Saturdays from 9am-1pm. Appointments available every hour. Last appointment booked for 12pm.

Drop-off - select drop-off in scheduler for available appointments

Racine Public Library, 75th St. - Fridays from 10:30am-1pm. Appointments available every 30 minutes. Last appointment booked for 12:30pm.

Button with "Schedule VITA appointment"

What should I bring to my appointment?

  • Picture ID, showing proof of identification of who you are.

  • The birth dates of you, your spouse and your dependents (including your children, or others that derive more than half of their support from you).

  • Social Security cards for you and your dependents, as well as your spouse. You can bring the actual Social Security cards, or you can bring letters of verification from the Social Security Administration. If you don't have a Social Security number, you will need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or the proper proof of foreign status.

  • All of your income statements, for you and your spouse. This includes your W-2 forms, and all 1099 forms (interest and dividends, social security) that you have received, 1098-T for education credits, and 1095 showing health insurance.

  • Total amount paid for childcare or elder care. You will need the tax ID numbers for those providing the care services. You might be eligible for a dependent care credit.

  • If you want your money deposited directly into your bank account, you will need to bring your bank information. A blank or voided check can be used to provide your bank routing number, as well as your account number.

  • If you are married filing jointly, you can file electronically only if you and your spouse are both present to sign the forms that allow for it.

  • If filing homestead, you will need to have a completed and signed rent certificate or property tax bill from the year you are claiming the credit and documentation for all forms of income received including SSI, SSDI, supplemental social security and/or child support received.

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Two Case High School students preparing a tax return for a client.

In-person VITA services will resume January 23, 2023.

Click HERE to schedule your full-service appointment. Select tax preparation for available days and times.

In-person appointments are available for full-service tax assistance. In order to implement safe social distancing, clients may be asked to wait in a separate room while their taxes are prepared.

This service is for clients who: 

  • Have an annual income of $66,000 or less
  • Are filing more than just the current tax year
    • Preparation available for 2017 through current tax year.
  • Prefer to have everything completed in an hour
  • Need extra assistance throughout the return process
  • Do not have access to a smartphone, tablet or computer to complete the virtual option
  • Are not comfortable with the virtual process

We cannot file returns with the following items due to it being out of scope for the VITA program:

  • Married Filing Separate returns 
  • Returns with landlord/rental income
  • Returns with buying or selling of cyber currency
  • Business returns (with employees, use of home as an office, inventory/stock). We can prepare simple self-employment returns.
  • State returns other than Wisconsin and non-resident Illinois returns

 

Trifold with welcome information for the VITA site.

Drop-off services will resume January 27, 2023.

Click HERE to schedule your drop-off appointment. Select drop-off for available days and times.

30 minute in-person drop-off appointments are available for tax assistance. All intake paperwork will be completed in-person and client tax documents will be collected by a VITA team member. Tax preparation will be completed by our team of certified and vetted volunteer preparers within one week. Clients will have the option to review and sign their documents electronically or in-person once the return is completed.

For clients who:

  • Are not filing Married Filing Separate (legally married but filing separately from their spouse)
  • Do not have rental or farm income
  • Have an annual income of $66,000 or less
  • Are filing more than just the current tax year
  • Have limited time to sit for a full-service appointment
  • Need assistance with the GetYourRefund virtual option
  • Are comfortable communicating with your tax preparer by email or text
  • Are ok waiting up to a week for the return to be complete

A cell phone showing the GetYourRefund home page.

United Way of Racine County virtual VITA services are expected to re-open early February 2023. 


Virtual VITA utilizes GetYourRefund to collect and securely store taxpayer information and documents. Taxpayers will create an account and answer a series of questions. The information will be reviewed, and the taxpayer will be contacted by a member of our virtual VITA team to review the information before the volunteer prepares the tax return. The process can take up to a week to complete once we receive all the necessary documents.

  • 100% virtual for your safety and convenience
  • Our virtual tax team will prepare your return for you
  • Easy to submit from a smart phone, tablet or computer
  • For taxpayers with an income of $66,000 or less
  • VITA cannot prepare returns that are Married Filing Separate or contain rental or farm income
  • Our program only prepares state returns for Wisconsin
  • Preparation available for tax years 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022
  • You will be required to interview by phone with a volunteer tax preparer
  • Return will be reviewed over the phone and electronically signed
  • Click above to start the process, answer a series of questions and send pictures of your documents to the United Way of Racine County VITA program

 

Photo of hands working on the computer.

Click here to access our free DIY TaxSlayer tax software! Available starting January 30, 2023.


If you want to file your own taxes, click above to receive a link to create your account with TaxSlayer to utilize our free tax software. If you used MyFreeTaxes last year, you will want to use that again this year instead of requesting the link.

Click above to start your return now using our free TaxSlayer software.

  • Income limit of $73,000
  • No form restrictions
  • 2022 Software
  • Certified volunteers available to answer your tax questions via email
  • Does not allow "state only" returns

This is the right option for you if:

  • Your return is out of scope for VITA
  • You file Married Filing Separate
  • You have cyber currency
  • You have rental income (landlord income)
  • You are only filing for the current tax year
  • You are filing a state return other than Wisconsin
  • You are comfortable using online tax services
  • You have done your own taxes in the past but want a more affordable (FREE) option
  • Your tax situation is simple/straight forward
  • You need a quick option

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to access Free DIY CashApp tax software! Open for data entry at this time. Cannot file until IRS opens for the season.


If you want to file your own taxes, click above to utilize the free tax software from CashApp. This process must be started from a smart phone and then can be transferred to a computer.

This is the right option for you if:

  • Your income is over $73,000
  • You are only filing for the current tax year
  • You are filing a state return other than Wisconsin
  • You are comfortable using online tax services
  • You have done your own taxes in the past but want a more affordable (FREE) option
  • Your tax situation is simple/straight forward
  • You need a quick option

 

 

Any questions written on a chalk board

Have a question? Click here to visit our FAQs.


Answers to many of our commonly asked questions can be found here. If you cannot find your answer, email us at taxhelp@unitedwayracine.org

 

 


Unable to volunteer but want to support VITA? Your tax-deductible donation provides training, resources and support so VITA volunteers can support as many local taxpayers as possible.

A blue button that says "donate." A red button that says "volunteer."  A yellow button that says "contact."