Free Tax Prep Volunteer

Free Tax Preparation

Free Tax Prep, an initiative of United Way of Greater Cincinnati, provides free income tax preparation and filing services, helping families save approximately $250 in tax prep fees along with getting the credits they deserve, including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

How Does Free Tax Prep Help File My Taxes?

United Way offers several services to prepare your taxes for free instead of paying someone. On average, American families spend more than $300 each year on tax preparation and filing fees. When companies offer advanced loans to complete your taxes, you still are not getting the refund you are owed. Paying for tax preparation services can mean the difference between paying down a credit card, having money in an emergency savings account or getting a car repaired.

Before you spend several hundred dollars on a fee-based service, connect with one of United Way's Free Tax Prep sites to access the service that meets your needs.

  1. MyFreeTaxes.com is a free self-filing tool available through United Way Worldwide. You complete your return on your own at your own pace. MyFreeTaxes uses TaxSlayer software, a tax service with over 50 years of experience in the industry. The software guides you through the return and there's additional help available to answer common questions.
  1. Self-prep at Free Tax Prep sites is a self-filing tool but with support and assistance available on-site. This means you prepare and file your own basic state and federal tax forms using TaxSlayer web-based tax software with help from a tax coach, who is an IRS-certified volunteer. This is a good blend of traditional Volunteer Income Tax Assistance services with a do-it-yourself approach.
  1. Traditional, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites offer free tax return preparation either in-person or drop-off and are operated by experienced IRS-certified volunteers to help taxpayers complete basic state and federal tax returns.

Who is eligible?

Low-to-moderate-income taxpayers, those on fixed incomes, people with disabilities and those with limited English language abilities are eligible for free tax preparation and filing. United Way of Greater Cincinnati supports more than 30 locations.

What do I need to bring?


** Save time at your appointment! Bring this completed form to make your visit faster: IRS Intake Form (13614-C) **
 

  1. Income information: All W-2, 1099 forms and other information for income received in 2020 by you, spouse, and dependent(s).*
  2. Photo identification for primary individual(s) filing the return (you/spouse).*
  3. Social Security cards or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number cards for everyone listed on the return (you, spouse, and dependents or children).*
  4. Birth dates of everyone listed on the return (you, spouse, and dependents or children).*
  5. Last year's tax return.
  6. Information about your stimulus payment ‚ÄĒ also known as an Economic Impact Payment (EIP).¬†You may have¬†IRS Letter 6475¬†or other records showing your EIP amount.
  7. Information about your Advanced Child Tax Credit payments. Households may receive multiple IRS 6419 Letters regarding Advanced Child Tax Credit Payments. You should bring all IRS 6419 Letters.
  8. Canceled check or bank routing and account numbers for direct deposit. IRS recommends this to receive your refund as soon as possible.
  9. Identity Protection PIN, if one has been issued to you, your spouse, or your dependents by the IRS.
  10. Credit and deduction documentation.

Where can I go?

Download the list for Free Tax Prep for our summer locations (.PDF).

About free tax prep services

Free Tax Prep, an initiative of United Way of Greater Cincinnati, provides free income tax preparation and filing services. Funded by the IRS and powered by volunteers.

We offer services including preparing and filing your taxes on your behalf or supporting you in preparing and filing your taxes on your own.You can connect with Free Tax Prep online or in person. All in-person services have been modified to limit contact and ensure safe distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To determine the best Free Tax Prep Service for you, whether it's in-person or virtual, call United Way of Greater Cincinnati's 211 helpline or 513-762-7900.

TAX YEAR 2020 RESULTS

6,800

Families helped in Tax Year 2020.

$2 MILLION

In tax filing fees avoided in Tax Year 2020.

$10 MILLION

Refunds collected for filers in Tax Year 2020.

Frequently asked questions

Why is my refund less than what I see on my return?

  • The amount of refund dollars I received is less than what I see on my return or less than what I was told I would receive. Why is that?

    The IRS will adjust a tax refund amount if the IRS finds discrepancies according to their records. The IRS has started issuing refunds for 2021 returns, and some individuals have noticed their amounts are less than expected. While this can happen for many reasons, there are two main reasons people can expect to see changes.

    1. Economic Impact Payments/Recovery Rebate Credits ‚Äď Many Americans received a third stimulus payment in 2021 (Economic Impact Payment #3). Any eligible taxpayer who did not receive the stimulus dollars can claim these as a credit on their tax return (the credit is called the Recovery Rebate Credit). If you claimed the Recovery Rebate Credit (see line 30 of your 1040), but the IRS records show they sent you stimulus dollars or are not eligible, the IRS will then change your refund amount, usually decreasing your refund amount. If the IRS changed your refund amount, the agency will send you a letter explaining the adjustment. You can also visit "Where's My Refund?" to gather information regarding your adjustment. If you are unsure if you received the third stimulus amount, it is best to check with your bank about any deposits made to your account from the IRS, or create and check your IRS online account.
    2. Child Tax Credit ‚Äď Many Americans with dependents received advanced payments from the IRS from July through December of 2021 for the Child Tax Credit. Any eligible taxpayer who did not receive the advanced Child Tax Credit payments can claim these as a credit on their tax return. If you claimed the advanced portion of the Child Tax Credit (see line 28 of your 1040 or Part I-C of Schedule 8812), but the IRS records show they sent you those payments or are not eligible, the IRS will then change your refund amount, usually decreasing your refund amount. If the IRS changed your refund amount, the agency will send you a letter explaining the adjustment. You can also visit "Where's My Refund?" to gather information regarding your adjustment. If you are unsure if you received the advanced Child Tax Credit payments, it is best to check with your bank about any deposits made to your account from the IRS, or create and check your IRS online account.

 

Where is my tax refund?

 

What if I cannot find a site or file by April 18, 2022?

 

Do I qualify for Free Tax Prep?

  • Do I qualify for Free Tax Prep?
     

    You can usually get help if you identify as low-to-moderate-income and live in the Greater Cincinnati area. In limited cases, income restrictions may apply based on total income and family size. For a list of forms that are not within our preparation scope, visit IRS.gov's Publication 3676-A (Rev. 10-2021) - (.PDF). This will also help you determine what forms can be prepared and the essential documents to ensure your taxes are prepared on your first visit.

 

What do I need to file my taxes?

  • What do I Need to File my Taxes?
     

    Use the list below to gather all the documents and forms you'll need to get started with Free Tax Prep. Any item with a star (*) is mandatory; without it, you will be unable to access Free Tax Prep. All other items are highly recommended. For a full list of documents required to file taxes visit the Checklist for Free Tax Return Preparation | Internal Revenue Service (IRS.gov).

 

How to I find a Free Tax Prep site near me?

  • How do I find a Free Tax Prep service near me?
     

    Call 211 or 513-762-7900 to find the best option for you.

General Image of a desk with 1040 form and other tax prep materials.

File on your own

Quick and convenient filing from you home. Compatible on all mobile devices. Customer support available to answer your questions.

Visit MyFreeTaxes.com
File on your own

Have additional questions?

Email us at freetax@uwgc.org.

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