Volunteer Income Tax Services Available Virtually, Free of Cost
KALAMAZOO, MICH. – Individuals within a certain income range can now receive free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance services virtually. The service, commonly known as VITA, operated in-person around Kalamazoo County before shutting down in accordance with Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order.
The IRS has now signed off on services being provided virtually.
There are a few criteria for scheduling a virtual service appointment:
- Access to a camera—phone or computer—and/or access to a scanner
- A valid email address
- Access to the internet
- A household income of less than $57,000 or less annually
- Ability to upload valid photo ID, Social Security cards and other supporting documents to a VITA secure online drive
The virtual tax service will consist of two remote meetings. The first meeting will be a 20-30 minute interview conducted by phone or Zoom, after which taxpayers will upload their supporting documents to a secure online drive. The second interview will consist of a 10-15 minute tax review via Zoom video. Upon completion, taxpayers will finalize their return with their signature via Adobe Sign.
“We are so excited that VITA services are now available virtually,” said Cheri Puryear, VITA program coordinator. “It’s really important to us that individuals are able to keep 100% of their tax refunds, and they can do just that by utilizing our services.”
It should be noted that VITA is unable to help international taxpayers, taxpayers with rental income, or those who have businesses with expenses over $25,000, employees, inventory or incurred a loss.
Eligible taxpayers can schedule an appointment with an IRS-certified volunteer income tax preparation specialist by calling 269-488-7632.