Free tax preparation for those earning less than $54,000 available at Crafton Hills College

By on January 30, 2018

Tax season is upon us and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, sponsored by the Accounting program at Crafton Hills College (CHC) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is offering free tax preparation services and assistance for individuals and families earning less than $54,000 a year.

CHC students are VITA volunteers are certified by the IRS to provide basic income tax assistance to qualified individuals, including U.S. veterans. For CHC students to participate in this program they have completed a rigorous IRS-sponsored training. The VITA site will be open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon in the Central Complex (CNTL), Room 119, on the CHC campus beginning February 10 through April 7.

Additionally, VITA volunteers will provide assistance to taxpayers at various locations throughout the local area from February through April. The CHC VITA program will also offer Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) and free tax preparation services at the Scherer Senior Center in Yucaipa. The Scherer Senior Center is located at 12202 First St. in Yucaipa. Call 909-797-1177, ext. 427 to inquire about specific dates and times for these services at the Scherer Senior Center.

Taxpayers should bring the following items to the VITA site to receive assistance on their returns:

  • 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

VITA and CHC advise individuals who plan to seek assistance at either CHC or the Scherer Senior Center that it is extremely important that each person use the correct Social Security Number (SSN). The most accurate information is usually located on your original Social Security card. If you do not have an SSN for you or a dependent, you should complete Form SS-5, Social Security Number Application. This form should be submitted to the nearest Social Security Administration Office. If you or your dependent is not eligible to get a SSN, you may need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

Electronic filing for VITA/CHC completed tax forms is free. For those seeking tax preparation services at the CHC campus, parking will be free; the closest parking lot is Lot E. CHC is located at 11711 Sand Canyon Road in Yucaipa. For more information about the VITA program, call 909-794-2161 or contact either of the site coordinators Jesse Portugal jportugal@sbccd.cc.ca.us  or Makalerina Tambunan at mtambunan@sbccd.cc.ca.us.