Free tax prep

Free tax help

What is VITA?

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to individuals who file simple returns and generally make $64,000 a year or less. The program is also available to persons with disabilities 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 throughout the County of San Diego. This program is sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Tax assistance is offered through an amazing partnership with the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program and EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit). Our tax program assists an average of 1,800 people every year. Assistance is available year-round, including back-tax filing, for families with a household income under $64,00.00 Getting on top of taxes can provide a powerful sense of taking back control.

How to File

Make an appointment with Home Start by calling 619-229-3660.
Click here to download our flyer (in English AND Spanish) for more information.

If you prefer, you can file on your own for free online at

Once you have an appointment, be sure to gather the following required documents:

  • Social Security card or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for each family member
  • A valid California ID for adults in the household

Any additional items listed below that may apply to your family:

  • W-2 Forms for all jobs worked
  • All 1099 forms
  • Letter 6419
  • Healthcare Forms: 1095’s
  • Childcare provider name, address & tax ID
  • Copy of a bank check: for direct deposit
  • A copy of last year’s tax return (if available)
  • Any other tax-related documents you have

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California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC)

California Earned Income Tax (CalEITC) is a cash-back 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. Click for more information.

What if I don’t have a Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)?

All taxpayers without a social security number must have a valid ITIN to file taxes. Click to learn more information on how to apply.

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