VITA FREE Tax Prep Service


Don't Let FREE Tax Prep Pass You By. Make VITA Your Next Stop!

VITA MascotUnited Way's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance service (VITA) is focused on putting more money into the pockets of working families. IRS-trained volunteers offer FREE Tax Prep for families and individuals who earned less than $57,000 in 2020! Our goal is to make sure you get your FULL refund, claim all your eligible credits, and learn to use taxes to grow your assets! You can count on VITA to provide the highest quality tax service to families, individuals, and some small business owners.

May 17, 2021, UWMC wrapped up our 12th year of VITA with 1,232 tax returns filed. Due to the shelter-in-place orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, UWMC shifted to providing free Virtual VITA tax preparation services.

Are you interested in being a VITA Volunteer?

Read the experience of George Jones, a dedicated UWMC VITA volunteer for over seven years, in transitioning to Virtual VITA service, how it benefit him and VITA customers. Learn more about becoming an IRS-certified VITA Volunteer and sign up.

UWMC will continue to offer a free tax preparation service for Monterey County residents. Taxpayers have an option to prepare their own federal and state tax returns for free online or they can have an IRS-certified volunteer help guide them through the process. This service is provided at two locations: UWMC's Monterey office and Center for Employment Training's (CET) Salinas office. This opportunity is available from June through September.

Take a look at the Tax Prep Checklist to help you stay on top of your taxes and know what to prepare so you are ready to file and maximize your refund.

You have two ways to file for free:

  1. Drop off or email your documents to a VITA site and IRS-trained volunteers will prepare them for you.
  2. File free online at

California Earned Income Tax

California Earned Income Tax (CalEITC) is a cashback tax credit that puts money back into the pockets of California’s working families and individuals. In its first year, CalEITC boosted the income of about 385,000 families, who shared almost $200 million from the cash-back credit. CalEITC gives working families the chance to get ahead. Studies show that young children in households that receive the EITC do better in school, are more likely to attend college, and earn more, brightening the future of the next generation. Families earning up to $25,000 can get a BONUS of up to $6,500 and keep their full refund! Even if you don’t qualify for the full $6,500, you deserve to have the credit you earned. Think of the difference this extra cash can make for you and your family. Beginning January 2021, families filing with an ITIN number are eligible to claim the CalEITC tax credit.


Number of Qualifying Children CA Maximum Income CalEITC (up to) IRS EITC (up to)
None $30,000 $243 $538
1 $30,000 $1,626 $3,584
2 $30,000 $2,691 $5,920
3 or more $30,000 $3,027 $6,660

VITA Service: Although United Way Monterey County is not  offering any in person or virtual tax services at this time, taxpayers are encouraged to use to file a tax return at no cost. Taxpayers have until October 15, 2021. 

UWMC will resume its tax preparation services in February 2021.