Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to pay for your services?

VITA is a nonprofit organization aiming to help low-income households by providing free tax preparation services. No payment is required at any VITA tax site. If you would like to support our program, please refer to this page.

What do I bring to the tax sites?

You must bring your Social Security/ITIN Card for each individual on your tax return, some form of government-issued photo ID, and all tax forms received over the course of the year (e.g. W-2, 1098-T, 1095-A, 1099-DIV, etc). Bringing a copy of your prior year tax return is also highly suggested.

When and where are your tax sites?

We have tax sites on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at the following locations:

New Harmony Mutual Housing
3030 Cowell Boulevard
Davis, CA 95617
Thursdays and Friday 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Mary Stephens Library
315 East 14th St.
Davis, CA 95616
Saturdays 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

We will operate our tax sites from January 30th till April 10th. Tax sites will not operate from March 14th to March 28th due to academic holidays.

I’m a F-1/J-1 international student. Can I file my taxes with Students in VITA?

In general, students with F or J visas are considered nonresident aliens for tax purposes. Unfortunately, we are unable to file foreign returns for nonresident aliens. Please refer to a paid tax professional for assistance.

Can I claim my roommate as a dependent?

In general, a taxpayer cannot claim an unrelated roommate as a dependent. To claim an individual as a dependent, the following conditions must apply:

  • Taxpayer cannot be claimed as a dependent by someone else.
  • Taxpayer provided over 50% of the dependent’s living expenses, including room and board.
  • Taxpayer lived with dependent for the entire tax year.

Feel free to contact us if you have more questions about claiming dependents.

How are your student interns qualified for providing tax filing services?

We require all Students in VITA interns to become IRS certified in tax law. All volunteers in our program have completed training on how to correctly handle sensitive financial information. In addition, the VITA Program implements a quality review process to make sure that everything is reviewed by experienced IRS volunteers. Since our inception in 2012, we have helped our clients regain over $500,000 in tax refunds, and in 2015, we were awarded the Partner of the Year Award by the IRS.

Do I have to make an appointment to receive assistance?

We believe that planning ahead for the future is crucial, and we appreciate clients who make proactive effort by registering for appointments. Clients with appointments have priority above walk-ins, and as tax season comes into full gear around March, our tax sites can become very impacted. Appointments can be made online here.

How soon after filing my return will I receive my refund?

Generally, it takes 2-3 weeks if you choose to receive your refund via direct deposit and 4-6 weeks via check. Due to IRS tax return processing time, the estimated time frame may vary. You can check the status of your refund on the IRS Website here. If you e-filed your return, you can check your federal refund status at here and your CA refund status here.

Can I file tax returns for previous years?

Yes. Prior year returns for 2018 and 2017 can be filed. You can bring your tax forms of the tax year you want to file. However, we are unable to provide tax filing service for tax years prior to 2016 since our volunteers are not certified to prepare returns for those tax years.