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February 17, 2010 > File for Earned Income Credit

File for Earned Income Credit

By Arnie Becker

Starting now, and continuing through April 15th, the deadline for filing your 2009 federal land state tax returns, VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program) will do your tax return free if your income is less than approximately $52,000 and you are not married filing separately. Sites are located throughout Alameda County and are open various hours and days. To locate a local VITA site you can call 1-800-829-1040.

Some sites work by appointment only, some take walk-ins and some make appointments and take walk-ins. You should call the site you wish to prepare your return and find out their specific schedule.

The Fremont Family Resource Center served more than 1200 families and individuals during the 2009 tax season and the 4Cs served almost 300 families and individuals. All of the preparers, coaches, instructors, screeners and greeters are volunteers. They receive no money for spending many hours being trained and then serving the community. The volunteers are young, old and middle aged. Some are fairly new immigrants themselves, some are retired and some volunteer on Saturdays or evenings. They speak many different languages and serve as translators where necessary.

A very important reason for the VITA program to exist is to ensure that low and moderate income working families receive all of the credits and deductions that they are entitled to and that it costs them nothing to have their returns prepared by trained, certified tax preparers who are looking out for their best interests. Many of these families receive a substantial Earned Income Credit that allows them to better their economic condition while also contributing to Social Security and Medicare.

In the Bay Area the VITA program is under the umbrella of the United Way Of The Bay Area who coordinates all of the many sites. To locate a local VITA site you can call (800) 829-1040.

In the local area sites are located at:
The Fremont Family Resource Center
39155 Liberty Street, Fremont

The Community Child Care Coordinating Council of Alameda County (4Cs)
22351 City Center Drive, Suite 150, Hayward

Center For Independent Living (CRIL)
439 A Street, Hayward

The Hayward Senior Center
North Third and Crescent, Hayward

The Kenneth C. Aitken Senior and Community Center
17800 Redwood Road, Castro Valley

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