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.

July 15, 2020, UWMC wrapped up our 11th year of VITA with 1,912 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. The tax preparation and filing process was done electronically by uploading necessary documents without an in-person meeting. 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.

It's not too early to prepare to file your taxes for the 2020 Tax Year. 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

Become a VITA Volunteer

We are recruiting volunteers for the 2020 Tax Season. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer tax preparer, find more information here.

Volunteer Education and College Assistance Alliance (VECAA)

In partnership with Hartnell College, UWMC will administer the VECAA program to increase Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and Dream Act applications of high school students throughout Monterey County. FAFSA not only gives students access to the aid, but it allows students and families to find a better path toward college affordability and earning a degree. However, very few high school seniors complete FAFSA applications. Between 2016 and 2018, less than half of the eligible students entering Hartnell College completed the FASFA applications. 

Appointments are required for application assistance. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call our Salinas office at 831-757-3206. View the program flyer here.

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 Sites

CET Salinas

24 E. Alvin Dr., Salinas, CA 93906
Virtual Tax Preparation & Drop Off (Appointment Only)
Tuesdays 2:00-5:00 p.m. 
For appointments: (831) 424-0665 or

CET Soledad

930 Los Coches Dr., Ste 101, Soledad, CA 93960
Drop Off or Park & Prepare (Appointment Only)
Saturdays; 9:00am-2:00pm
For appointments: (831) 223-1074 

United Way Monterey County-Monterey Office

60 Garden Ct., Ste. 350, Monterey, CA 93940
Drop Off & Virtual Tax Preparation (Appointments Only)
Fridays; 3:00pm–7:00pm
Saturdays; 9:00am–1:00pm
For appointments: (831) 757-3206

United Way Monterey County-Salinas Office

307 S. Main St., Ste 100, Salinas, CA 93901
Virtual Free Tax Preparation & Drop Off (Appointments Only)
Monday–Thursday; 9:00am–4:00pm
For appointments: (831) 757-3206