While tax preparation may look different this year, OC Free Tax Prep returns to help taxpayers claim tax credits and save on tax preparation fees.
OC Free Tax Prep is a coalition of more than 30 government institutions and community partners that are committed to helping individuals and families achieve financial stability. Over the last 7 years, the coalition has prepared 121,219 tax returns for free, saving taxpayers an estimated $23 million in tax preparation fees.
This year, OC Free Tax Prep will continue to provide its free tax preparation service via the following COVID-friendly options:
Contactless Drop-Off Service
This new service enables taxpayers to gather their documents and drop them off at an OC Free Tax Prep location without having to wait. The documents will be given to an IRS-Certified Tax Preparer Volunteer who will review the documents, communicate with the taxpayer via phone, and prepare their federal and state tax returns. Click Here to find a location near you.
Virtual Tax Preparation Service
This new service enables taxpayers to file 100% virtually by snapping a photo of their tax documents and uploading them to a secure portal. OC Free Tax Prep’s IRS-Certified tax preparer volunteers will communicate via phone and prepare the federal and state returns. Click Here to learn more.
Do-It-Yourself “DIY” Online
This option enables taxpayers to file on-demand. After answering a series of guided questions on a secure website, the relevant tax forms are automatically generated. United Way has partnered with MyFreeTaxes.com to make this online filing option available for free.
“Our coalition has worked hard to innovate how we provide free tax preparation services during the pandemic. We are proud to offer options that keep taxpayers, volunteers, and staff safe. In a time when many people in our community have become financially vulnerable, it has never been more important to continue to provide our services.” – Maria Mugica, Program Manager at Orange County United Way
Cash Back Tax Credits
According to CalEITC4Me.org, low-income Californians leave more than $2 billion dollars in state and federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)unclaimed every year. The coalition encourages individuals who earned any income in 2020 to file a tax return – even if they are not required to file – because they may be eligible for cash back tax credits.