Free Tax Preparation

The IRS has extended the filing date until May 17, 2021. Click here to see the list of updated VITA sites that will be doing free tax preparation up to this extended date.

Tax filers can also go to to prepare their own taxes online – for free.

Did you know you can file your taxes for FREE? Last year United Way partners filed over 16,000 tax returns for low-income families and seniors with the help of hundreds of IRS-trained volunteers.

The volunteers make sure each tax filer receives all of the tax credits that they qualify for, like the Earned Income Tax Credit, which can be up to $6,728 for working families with children.



Your household income must have been less than $57,000 last year to qualify for free tax preparation. Simply dial 2-1-1 to learn if you qualify or to find the nearest tax preparation site.



  • Call 2-1-1 (1.800.427.4626) or go to to find your nearest tax preparation site.
  • Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, most tax sites require advance appointments. Please call your site ahead of time to find out if you need an appointment and for more instructions. 
  • Generally, you will make an appointment to bring your tax documents to be copied or scanned.
  • IRS-trained volunteers prepare and e-file your federal and state tax returns for FREE!
  • You will be notified when your return is ready to be picked up (usually within a week).
  • Receive your refund in about 7-10 days when you take advantage of FREE, fast direct deposit
  • You may qualify to receive up to $6,728 cash back when you claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). If you have had a reduction in income this year, you may qualify for the tax credit for the first time.



  • All W-2s and 1099s
  • Social Security Cards or Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) for all family members
  • Valid picture ID for taxpayer and spouse (Driver’s License, State ID, Passport)
  • If married and filing jointly, both spouses must be present to sign
  • Copy of prior year tax return
  • 1098 or real estate tax receipt
  • Proof of unemployment compensation
  • A copy of a voided check or bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit
  • Proof of child care expenses
  • Parcel number (Illinois homeowners only)
  • Form 1095-A: proof of health insurance from the market place



  • Form 1040
  • With schedule B, C ($25,000 limit), EIC & R
  • Form 1040 – V
  • Form 1040 – ES
  • Form 2441 (Child and dependent care credit)
  • Form 8863 (Education credits)
  • Form 8812 (Additional child tax credit)



If you have a simple return and feel comfortable using a computer, the IRS Free File may be for you. 

Do you have a bank account? Do not let the pandemic stop you from getting your tax refund faster with direct deposit to a bank account. You can open an account online with no overdraft fees.

Tax Time Savings: Tax time is a great time to save. Consider setting money aside in an emergency fund for unexpected expenses.