The OCCOA annually partners with the IRS to provide a VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program. The program is targeted at taxpayers with incomes of $56,000 or less. 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! The agency had scheduled the VITA Program to run between February 4, 2020, through April 17, 2020. However, the program has been cancelled to protect “the independence and well-being” of our clients and staff, and to support the overall safety and health protection of our community as we all take precautions against the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Tax clinics will be held at the Gaylord Meal Site in Gaylord, which is located in the Alpine Alten Zimmer.

Tax clinics will be scheduled on various days, by appointment, dependent upon volunteer availability, from February 5, 2020 through April 15, 2020. Appointments are targeted toward taxpayers with a combined household income of $56,000 or less and will be scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis after January 5, 2020. To schedule an appointment, please contact us through our website’s “Contact Us” page.

When you are scheduled for an appointment, a list of items that you will need to bring to your appointment will be mailed or emailed to you.

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 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,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.
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 This is a partnership between United Way and H & R Block.  All income levels are invited to file through
(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~