VITA program offers free tax prep services

  • Published: Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites offering eligible Missourians free assistance with tax return preparation are open at University of Missouri Extension sites throughout the state through April 14.

“During such an extraordinary time, people will certainly have questions about their taxes,” said Andrew Zumwalt, an associate extension professor of personal financial planning. Volunteers have been through IRS training and certification and are prepared to help families navigate their tax preparation for free, Zumwalt said.

VITA is an IRS-sponsored program that provides free tax preparation assistance for low- to moderate-income households — generally, those who make $57,000 or less annually. Trained community volunteers may help with special credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled.

“We are doing everything we can to offer tax preparation assistance to everyone who needs it,” he said.

Search for a VITA site near you at or call 800-906-9887. In addition, most Missourians can file their taxes for free online with IRS Free File. Learn more at

Zumwalt notes that VITA sites are not able to prepare returns involving farms, complicated small businesses and rental property income. Clients will be served on a first-come, first-served basis.

You will need to bring these items to the VITA site to have your tax return prepared:

  • Photo ID.
  • Social Security cards for you, your spouse and dependents, or a Social Security number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration.
  • Birthdates for you, your spouse and dependents.
  • W-2 forms and any other wage and earning statements.
  • Interest and dividend statements (1099 forms).
  • Forms 1095-A, B and C, Health Coverage Statements.
  • A copy of last year’s federal and state returns, if available.
  • For direct deposit of refund, proof of bank routing numbers and account numbers, such as a voided personal check.
  • Total paid to day care providers and the providers’ tax identification numbers (Social Security number or the business employer identification number), if appropriate.

For more information on free tax preparation programs from the IRS, visit

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Andrew Zumwalt

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