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The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is a free tax preparation service for individuals and families in Santa Barbara County. Tax returns are prepared and completed by IRS-certified volunteers each year from February through April throughout Southern Santa Barbara County.

ATTENTION: DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC ALL TAX PREPARATION SITES ARE CLOSED. Clients can receive free tax support with virtual volunteer assistance.

New tax deadline is now July 15, 2020.




You can file your taxes for free online with live chat support at or


VITA is now offering a remote way to get help.

  • Due to the nature of virtual preparation, we will only be able to prepare a limited number of returns each week. 
  • We will accept returns on a first come, first serve basis. 

United Way of Santa Barbara County will serve as the drop-off location for tax clients to leave their tax forms during the following days and times:

  • United Way of Santa Barbara County: 320 E. Gutierrez Street, Santa Barbara
    • Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays; 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • Bring listed documentation below to the drop-off site during the hours of operation listed above only.
  • Clients will place all of your tax documents in an envelope (provided for you) at the site. Envelopes and instructions will be available outside the United Way office.
  •  Please make sure you place your name and desired language on the outside of the envelope.
  • If you are unable to provide a copy of your ID/passport, Social Security/ITIN please, indicate on the tax envelope if you have the ability to verify ID via FaceTime or other video platforms.
  • Please drop tax information in the mail slot located to the right of the front door.
  • A volunteer tax preparer will contact clients within 7 days of drop to schedule a phone interview and obtain permission to e-file.
  • You will be notified once your return is filed and ready for pick up at the drop off location. 
  • Please do not drop off your paperwork outside of the specified days and times for each location. 
  • In order to protect the United Way staff, volunteers, and the community, no one will be allowed in the United Way office to make copies of documents. 

**For the safety of our staff, we will not be able to make photocopies of any documents.

  • Please bring your own pen for writing
  • Copy of 2018 federal and state tax returns
  • A copy of your Photo ID (drivers license or passport)
  • A copy of your Social Security Cards or Individual Taxpayer ID
  • Numbers (ITIN) for each family member
  • Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN
  • For married filing joint, both spouses must be present during the scheduled interview
  • W-2, 1099 and 1098 for all jobs
  • Bank routing and account numbers
  • All forms 1095 Health Insurance statements


You may qualify for California's Earned Income Tax Credit!

Did you know California has a tax credit for working families and individuals? It’s called the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) and it is modeled after the federal credit. It is now better! What is new?

  • Higher income limits. Any worker regardless of children or filing status and income of $30,000 or less may benefit from the credit. That means working full-time at the state minimum wage of roughly $15 per hour could qualify.
  • Additional $1,000 for Families with Children under 6: If you have a young child in the home who is under 6 years old and qualify for CalEITC, you might be eligible for an additional $1,000 dollars. Raising young children is hard for working families. CalEITC can help.
  • More working Californians will benefit from this credit. Adults ages 18-24 without dependents, and older adults ages 65+ without dependents will also be eligible for this credit for the second time in tax season 2020.
  • Work for yourself? You qualify too. Even if you earned income from self-employment, you may qualify for the credit. Both 1099 filers and cash earners qualify.

With the combined federal and state credits eligible families can get up to $6,557 back after filing their taxes. What would you do with an extra $6,557 dollars? The average combined refund for both credits combined is $3,000. Families with young children under 6 may also qualify for an additional $1,000 from the State of California if they’re eligible for the CalEITC. 

To get your cash back, simply file your state and federal tax returns for FREE. Search for a free tax preparation site, with IRS-certified tax preparers, or file online for free by visiting

Visit to learn more today!


Want to know if you qualify for federal or state benefits?

Visit to find out!


Prepare Your Taxes Now with!

Prepare your own taxes anywhere you have an internet connection using MyFreeTaxes. It's easy, simple, fast and secure. When you file electronically, you let the computer do the math. Your work is saved at every step, so you can always come back and work on it later. MyFreeTaxes software has error checkers and calculators built in so you have a much smaller chance of making an error. Your personal information will not be shared with anyone.