January 24, 2023 By the St. Helena Star
The UpValley Family Centers will offer free tax preparation services through the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program from Tuesday, Jan. 24, through Tuesday, April 18.
The UVFC has been providing free tax filing assistance to qualifying individuals and families since 2005, helping to generate over $9 million in state and federal refunds for the Upvalley community.
Friday, Jan. 27 marks the 17th annual Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day. Low-income working families may qualify for more than $8,000 in refunds from the California and federal EITC. The UVFC VITA team members are IRS-certified to provide free expert tax preparation services for households earning less than $100,000 per year and help maximize refunds, including Earned Income and Child Care Tax Credit claims.
“Economically disadvantaged families have faced many challenges this past year with record inflation and an increasingly high cost of living,” said Jenny Ocón, Executive Director. “The EITC and other tax credits reduce poverty and increase economic security for the Upvalley’s working families. We’re here to ensure that every eligible Upvalley taxpayer can access the credits they are due.”
Last year, UVFC volunteers and staff provided over 600 households with free tax preparation assistance, which brought back $1,148,477 in refunds for the community, an average of over $1,740 per family.
VITA services are provided by UVFC’s Economic Success staff and a group of dedicated IRS-certified community volunteers. Assistance will be offered in person at UVFC offices on Wednesdays and Fridays from 5 to 9 p.m. in Calistoga, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 9 p.m. in St. Helena, and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in both communities. Assistance will also be offered at the St. Helena Public Library on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. from Feb. 16 through April 13.
Call 707-965-5010 to schedule an appointment and to learn more about this year’s process. Bilingual assistance is available, as well as applications and renewals of Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITINs) for residents without a Social Security number, who also file their taxes through the VITA program.
This program is made possible by the following generous funders: United Way Bay Area, Napa Valley Vintners, Wells Fargo, Umpqua Bank, Redwood Credit Union, the Strong Communities Fund — a Community Impact Fund of Napa Valley Community Foundation, the Thacher Family Fund, Napa Fund, and Rasmussen Family Fund of the Napa Valley Community Foundation, and individual donors.