Free tax help for low- and medium-income residents

Self Help Inc.’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program (RUNS FROM JANUARY-APRIL) and provides free tax help for low- and medium-income residents, persons with disabilities, the elderly and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals. The VITA program runs from late January to mid April.  Services are by appointment only and participants must meet certain eligibility requirements.


  • To qualify for free tax preparation, your 2019 household income should generally be $56,000 or less (please see current income guidelines below), or if you qualified for SHI fuel assistance this season. The income limit is per return, so couples filing joint returns must have a combined at or below the income in the chart below (dependent on the number of qualifying children in the home).
  • You must be a full-time resident of Massachusetts.

Benefits of using VITA:

  • SHI can help you save expensive tax preparation fees.
  • We offer tax preparation services during convenient weekend hours.
  • You can get information on saving and the Save Your Refund Program.
  • Last year, we helped over 200 households file taxes, returning over a half a million dollars in tax refunds back to the community.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

VITA volunteers are trained to access the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and other tax credits to allow taxpayers to pay bills, cover essential needs (rent, utilities, food, etc.), save and plan for the future.  Community Action Agency VITA sites also are able to link taxpayers to other critical services that strengthen families.

The tax year 2019 Earned income and adjusted gross income (AGI) must each be less than:

Eligibility Table

In order to be seen, please bring:

  • Proof of identification (photo ID)(driver’s license, Mass ID, Passport)
  • Social Security cards for you, your spouse and dependents. An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter may be substituted for you, your spouse and your dependents if you do not have a Social Security number
  • Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN
  • Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return
  • Wage and earning statements (Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R,1099-Misc) from all employers
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
  • Health Insurance Exemption Certificate, if received
  • A copy of your federal and state returns from last year, if available
  • Proof of bank account routing and account numbers for direct deposit such as a blank check
  • To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms
  • Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider’s tax identifying number such as their Social Security number or business Employer Identification Number
  • Forms 1095-A, B and C, Health Coverage Statements
  • Copies of income transcripts from IRS and state, if applicable
Make sure to ask your VITA Site Tax Preparer about ways to set up to save all or part of your refund, and be eligible for chances to win cash and prizes when you register with SAVEYOURREFUND and enter for a chance to win cash reward for saving.