VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program

The OCCOA annually partners with the IRS to provide a VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program. The program is targeted toward taxpayers with total gross household incomes of under $57,000. VITA return preparers are volunteers who have been trained and certified, annually, through VITA. In addition to preparing federal and state returns, volunteers can prepare Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credits and Home Heating Credits for those who qualify. The program is available free-of-charge.

Important Update! Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the OCCOA will be offering a Virtual VITA Program for the 2021 filing season. Appointments with volunteer preparers will take place virtually (via phone). This year there are a limited number of appointments. Therefore, OCCOA’s VITA Program will first serve Otsego County residents with total gross household incomes of under $57,000. Taxpayers may schedule appointments beginning on Monday, January 25, 2021, after 1 p.m. To schedule an appointment or learn more, please contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions

The VITA site sponsored by the Otsego County Commission on Aging offers e-filing for federal and state tax return preparation.

This year’s tax clinics will be held virtually, via telephone.

Tax clinics will be scheduled on various days, by appointment, dependent upon volunteer availability, from February 17, 2021 through April 15, 2021.  To schedule an appointment, please contact us through our website’s “Contact Us” page.

After you set up your virtual (phone) appointment with an IRS VITA-certified volunteer preparer, you will be sent a list of items to prepare for your appointment. These items will need to be dropped off at the OCCOA’s main office at an intake appointment before you meet with your volunteer preparer.

There is no charge for the preparation of your return.

To learn the status of your federal refund, you may contact the IRS Refund Hotline at (800) 829-1954 or the IRS Teletax System at (800) 829-4477. Alternatively, you may visit https://www.irs.gov/refunds/about-wheres-my-refund. If you e-filed, please allow 21 days from the time you e-filed before contacting the IRS. If you paper filed, please allow 6 weeks.

To learn the status of your Michigan refund, you may contact the Michigan Department of Treasury at (517) 636-4486. Alternatively, you may visit http://www.michigan.gov/taxes/0,4676,7-238-43513_75466—,00.html. If you e-filed, please allow four weeks from the time you filed before contacting the Michigan Department of Treasury. If you paper filed, please allow 4 to 6 weeks.

IRS Listing of VITA and TCE Sites (Currently  being updated by the IRS)
Click here for an IRS listing of additional VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) or TCE (Tax Counseling for the Elderly) sites in Northern Michigan. You may also call (800) 906-9887.
AARP Listing of TCE Sites
AARP, which sponsors the TCE sites, provides a complete listing of these sites on its website.
MyFreeTaxes
If you, or you and your spouse, are comfortable filing your own taxes, you may e-file for free (unless you need to file Schedules C, D, or E) through myfreetaxes.com. This is a partnership between United Way and H & R Block.  All income levels are invited to file through myfreetaxes.com.
(Click here to learn how your civil rights are protected.)

Click here for the IRS’s authorized professional e-filers for individuals.

Free Tax Assistance Program Staff:

Eileen Godek, OCCOA Research & Volunteer Coordinator and VITA Site Coordinator

“The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax.”

~Albert Einstein~