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Do you have an inspiring client story? Want to tell us why you volunteer? We are always looking for great stories to share about Earn It! Keep It! Save It!. Submit your story or thoughts
Now, more than ever, you deserve to keep your money, especially during tax season. Earn It! Keep It! Save It! Wine Country provides free, quality tax return preparation to low-to-moderate income individuals, families, and seniors. In many cases, access to asset building or income support resources such as public benefits, low or no cost bank accounts, or financial education will also be available to individuals. To qualify for FREE tax help and possible earned income tax and child care credits, your household income must be less than $50,000. Being a U.S. citizen is NOT a requirement.
The tax sites also ensure eligible taxpayers claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), one of the federal government's largest resources for low-income residents. It reduces the amount of income tax low-to-moderate income families are required to pay, and provides a wage supplement to some families. According to a the New America Foundation, thousands of Californians fail to claim EITC. Families and local economies suffer when these refunds go unclaimed. To read more about these latest findings click here. Learn more about this national policy by visiting California's EITC page. Calculate your eligibility by visiting the IRS page. Read more about EITC and how you can still get tax help by clicking here.
Earn It! Keep It! Save It! partners include: Community Action Partnership of Sonoma, River to Coast Children's Services, La Luz Center, Cloverdale Alliance for Financial Education (CAFE), Empire College, Sonoma State University, Sonoma County Human Services Department, Petaluma Public Library, Petaluma People Services Center, Sonoma County Youth & Adult Development, Goodwill Industries, Catholic Charities, Lake Family Resource Center, Nuestra Alianza de Willits, FIRST 5 Mendocino, Action Network, Redwood Coast Senior Center, Community and Family Service Agency, 2-1-1, Healthy Kids Sonoma, Healdsburg Day Labor Center, Cali Calmeca Language Academy, Lawrence Cook Middle School, Roseland University Prep High School, Sonoma County Department of Child Support Services, YWCA, VOICES, and Conservation Corps of the North Bay.
* Photo ID
* Social Security cards or ITIN for tax payer, spouse and all dependents
* Dates of birth for family members
* Documentation of income:
* W-2 forms for all jobs
* 1099 forms and other income forms (Ex. Self Employment - 1099-Misc; Interest Income - 1099-INT; Unemployment - 1099-G; Social Security)
* Voided check for direct deposit
* Previous year’s tax return if available
* Other documents:
* Name, address and phone number of landlord (if you rent)
* Child care expenses - documentation of expenses and provider name, address, tax ID
* Education expenses - tuition and books; student loan interest
* Medical costs
* Business expenses
* Mortgage and Property Tax information
Thank you to everyone who helped make tax season so successful in 2011! More than 100 IRS-certified volunteers helped at 19 sites within Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake Counties. Over 1,300 tax returns were accepted by the IRS for almost $2 million in tax refunds! These refunds not only helped those who needed it most, but also helps generate more income within the local economies.
Join our exciting coalition of volunteers – we will provide training and link you to a local site to assist low-income families and seniors in Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake Counties.
• All of our tax preparers and screeners must be trained and certified by the IRS. Training class schedules vary by county and will begin in November. On average, three days of classroom instruction is offered. For tax professionals or experienced volunteers, an online training and certification tool is available.
• Site operation hours vary by site but each volunteer is asked to commit to volunteer regularly (between 2 - 4 hour shift per week and a minimum of 20 hours for the season), beginning late January through April 15.
• All of our volunteers need to be comfortable working with a computer, but no special skills are required.
Tax Preparer: assist taxpayers with their tax returns during the tax season. Volunteers will complete a training course and become IRS certified to prepare taxes. Bilingual tax preparers are always in high demand.
Screener: responsible for assisting clients with the intake form and ensuring taxpayers have the correct tax documents and identification. This is a critical role as it is the initial point at which important tax return information is gathered and verified.
Interpreter: aid taxpayers by working alongside the tax clients and tax preparers. Spanish speaking volunteers are always needed. Training is provided by each tax site.
Greeter: welcome tax filers to the tax site during the tax season, and may also inform taxpayers about other available community resources. Training is provided by each tax site.
Earn It! Keep It! Save It! Materials
EKS Informational Flyer
VITA Sites - Sonoma County
VITA Sites - Mendocino County
VITA Sites - Lake County
VITA Sites - Mendocino and Lake Counties
Volunteer Flyer - Raised Hands
Volunteer Flyer - Volunteer Shirts
Client Postcard (Sonoma County)
Client Postcard (Mendocino County)
Client Postcard (Lake County)
Client Postcard (Humboldt and Del Norte Counties)
Client Flyer (Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake Counties)
Client Flyer (Humboldt and Del Norte Counties)
Client Flyer - What To Bring (Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake Counties)
Client Flyer - What To Bring (Humboldt and Del Norte Counties)
Kick-Off Flyer (8.5x11) - Empire College, Sonoma County
Kick-Off Flyer (8.5x11) - editable PDF for location/time
Kick-Off Flyer (11x17)- Empire College, Sonoma County
Kick-Off Flyer (11x17) - editable PDF for location/time
Tax Site Poster - editable PDF
Tax Site Poster with Contact Line - editable PDF
Client Newsletter Blurbs (All Counties)
2011 Radio PSA - English
Radio PSA - English
2011 Radio PSA - Spanish
Website Banners (Right click and "Save Image")
Earn It! Keep It! Save It! logos