VITA Tax Information
Beginning in January 2024, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) and AARP Tax Aide programs will resume serving the community with free tax preparation. Please return to this webpage for additional information in January 2024.
- Do I have to live in New Hanover County to have my taxes prepared at these locations?
- Do I have to be an older adult to get my taxes prepared at these locations?
Although our focus is to serve older adults, we will prepare taxes for residents of any age.
- I am filing joint with my spouse. Do both of us need to be present at the physical location?
#1 Option: Face-to Face services. Yes, both parties need to be present during tax preparation.
#2 Option: Drop-off/Virtual services. No, if both parties have signed all required forms and the person dropping off documentation has a copy of both photo IDs and proof of social security to present at time of drop off.
- I am filing joint with my spouse. Do both of us need to be there to pick up our return once it is completed?
Yes, both parties must sign the Form 8879 in order for our preparers to e-file on your behalf. In special circumstances clients doing the Virtual Option may come in separately to sign.
- Will a passport work for photo identification?
Returns We Cannot Prepare
Please be aware that there are certain returns that the IRS does not allow us to prepare. These are returns that contain “Out-of-Scope” items or are more complex than we can handle given the volume of our activity and the need to assist as many taxpayers as possible. While the list of Out-of-Scope items is extensive, the primary Out-of-Scope items that would prevent us from preparing your return are:
- You have income from property that you rented to someone else.
- You have income from the sale of property other than your personal residence.
- You have income from the sale of any virtual currency, such as Bitcoin.
- You have certain kinds of income reported on a tax form that is a “Schedule K-1” from a partnership, trust, or estate. For example, ordinary income or loss reported in box 1 of this form is Out of Scope. Investment income (interest, dividends, and capital gain) reported on a K-1 is generally in scope.
- You have income that would be reported on a Schedule C (self-employment or business income) and after deducting your expenses, the Schedule C would show a net loss (your expenses related to the activity are more than the income.)
- You conduct a complex business that you report on a Schedule C. We can do Schedule C’s that involve simple operations like reporting the income of a service provider who is not an employee, but we are not able to do more complicated Schedule C’s that involve sales, substantial costs (like inventory, substantial supplies), substantial bookkeeping, etc. These returns must be done by a paid preparer.
- You want to claim a credit for solar property or the purchase of an electric vehicle.
- You contributed property (such as clothing and furniture) other than cash to a charity and you want to claim that the value of the property is more than $500. (AARP tax aide programs can assist clients with non-cash charitable donations up to $5,000, but the VITA programs can only assist clients with non-cash charitable donations up to $500.)
- You have one or more complicated brokerage statement with complex items such as accrued interest, bonds, premium, etc. We can do simple brokerage statements but will not be able to accommodate returns with a significant number of brokerage statements or overly complex brokerage statements.