• To qualify for free tax preparation, your 2020 household income should generally be $57,000 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 virtual tax preparation services to keep you safe.
  • 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.


  • Current Photo Identification (we cannot accept expired id’s) (driver’s license, Mass ID, Passport for all adults listed on the return. Note: If you have children who work and provide more than 50% of their own support, they may need to file a return. This is determined by how much they had in earnings.
  • 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 included on the tax return
  • Wage and earning statements (Form W-2, W-2G,1099-R,1099-Misc, 1099-NEC) from all employers
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Form 1099)
  • A copy of last year’s federal and state returns, if available – and if we did your taxes before, we may not require this
  • Proof of bank account routing and account numbers for direct deposit such as a blank check or form from your bank
  • To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses will need to sign the required forms electronically – and this is done online. Let us know if this is a problem.
  • Total amount you paid for a day care provider and the day care provider’s tax identifying number such as their Social Security number or business Employer Identification Number. This also applied to individuals that are your dependent and require care so you may work, or go to school, or in some situations, while looking for work.
  • If you attended a college, university, or training programs where you had expenses (A 1098-T form, receipts for books or other necessary supplies for attendance)
  • FEDERAL AND STATE Health Insurance Forms: Health insurance information is often confusing. Insurance forms will be sent out to insured people by the end of January, so people should start receiving them by early February. If you, or a member of your family had health insurance in 2020, you will get some tax documents in the mail. You can visit this site: MA HEALTH CONNECTOR to get more information. Last year, several families stated they only had MASS HEALTH, and because they did not provide the correct form, their refunds were delayed. Be sure to check what documents you expect so we can be sure your refund is not delayed at all. People are confused because they might receive Federal forms and State (Massachusetts)forms. The MA HEALTH CONNECTOR page has information that will help.
  • 1095-A(you or someone in your family purchased health insurance from the Marketplaces (known as the Health Insurance Marketplace),
  • 1095-Breports the type of health insurance coverage you have, any dependents covered by your insurance policy, and the period of coverage for the prior year. This form is used to verify on your tax return that you and your dependents have at least minimum qualifying health insurance coverage; and
  • 1095-CHealth Coverage Statements or Health Insurance Exemption Certificate (if received) shows whether you or your family members enrolled in certain kinds of coverage offered by your employer, possibly because you have “self-insured coverage”. This form is not necessarily needed for taxes, but if you get it please send it.
  • If you have health insurance and live in Massachusetts, you will receive a 1099-HC Form – it is a tax document which provides proof of health insurance coverage for Massachusetts residents. Every Commonwealth of Massachusetts resident who has health insurance will receive a 1099-HC form. If you have dependents, they may receive their own separate 1099-HC.
  • Copies of income transcripts from IRS and state, if applicable
  • Any lottery winnings, lottery taxes, or gambling casinos winnings you have to report
  • The amount of any cash earnings (even if you worked “under the table”) that you should report.
  • If you rent an apartment and live in Massachusetts, please be ready to provide the amount you paid for rent, how many months you paid rent, and the name and address of your landlord. If you have roommates that share in the rent, you must claim ONLY the amount you actually paid.
  • Senior Citizens (Over the age of 65) who rent or own a home, may qualify for the Senior Circuit Breaker Credit which is worth up to $1,150.00 – even if you do not need to file a Federal Tax Return. You must be a Massachusetts resident, own or rent your home.
    • Income is $61,000 for single individual; $76,000 for head of household; $92,000 for married couples filing a joint return.
    • If you are a homeowner – your property tax plus one-half the amount on water and sewer must exceed 10 percent of your income.
    • If you are a renter, twenty-five percent of your rent must not be more than ten percent of your total income.

Finally, if you receive a document that indicates it is a TAX related document in the mail, please let us know.