Free Tax Preparation

If you made $50,000 or less total household income in 2011, we want to make you aware that you may qualify for free tax assistance. The helpful folks at the United Way connect people in need with volunteers through their Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, or VITA. IRS certified volunteers help prepare both federal and state tax returns for you completely FREE of charge.

That’s right…


In 2011 alone, VITA sites in the United Way of East Central Iowa service area generated a total of $2,263,243 in federal refunds. Wow! There are multiple VITA locations in Cedar Rapids. (Quick side note – you can find out more about locations and set up an appointment by dialing 2-1-1.) 

According their website (click here), the VITA program promotes awareness of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – a refundable federal tax credit that helps low to moderate income individuals offset taxes, supplement low wages, and provide a work incentive. If you qualify for the EITC, you may be eligible for a maximum credit of:

  • $5,751 if you have three qualifying children
  • $5,112 if you have two qualifying children
  • $3,094 if you have one qualifying child
  • $464 if you have no children

Check out this video about one recipient’s experiences with VITA:

For more information or to schedule an appointment, just dial 2-1-1 or go to It’s definitely worth a few minutes of your time to find out if this FREE service can save you money!