United Way Montcalm – Ionia Counties’ office is open to assist with the Home Heating Credit and/or tax preparation. Please call 2-1-1 to schedule your no-cost appointment.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is a free, tax service provided to households that make less than $58,000 per year. Our team of volunteers, supported by full-time staff, are IRS trained and certified and will provide you with the highest quality return possible. If you are interested in benefiting from this service, please call 211 to schedule an appointment.
VITA is Here to Help
This summer, we will be helping Michiganders apply for the Michigan Home Heating Credit (HHC) & Homestead Property Credit (HPTC) before the HHC deadline of September 30, 2022.
What You Should Know
- Do not require a source of earned or taxable income to benefit
- Folks collecting Social Security Disability or SSI, who typically would not need to file, are able to benefit from these invaluable credits
- Helps households pay for basic expenses
- The HHC can be up to several hundred dollars and makes a huge difference in paying for heat for those who are eligible
- The HPTC can refund up to $1,500 of rent or property taxes
- The HHC credit may be claimed, even if heat is included in rent
- Because of the nature of these credits, and the fact that those who do not need to file may benefit, many are unaware of their benefits
- The HHC expires for the year after the September 30th deadline and cannot be claimed afterward. So, it is crucial to claim before the deadline. If you have already filed your 2021 tax return you most likely have already benefited from these credits.
Where the VITA Team Will Be
Please check back for dates.
What to Bring With You
All clients looking to apply must bring a valid photo ID, social security card, income statements (1099-R, SSA-1099), and other tax forms received for 2021.
If you have any questions, please call Bethany at 616-794-9840.
Do you want to learn to do income taxes or can you already do your own income tax returns? We need you! United Way Montcalm-Ionia Counties sponsors VITA sites locally in partnership with other local agencies. However, this is a volunteer driven program. We cannot succeed and assist your neighbors without your help.
*You must always make an appointment first by calling 211.*
Appointments will start in Mid-January 2023.
Scan & Go and In-Person: United Way Montcalm-Ionia Counties (302 S Bridge St. Belding, MI)
Scan & Go: Ionia County Commission on Aging (115 Hudson St. Ionia, MI)
In-Person: Timothy C. Hauenstein Reynolds Township Library (117 Williams St. Howard City, MI)
Make sure you are prepared for your appointment by bringing all items in the What You Will Need tab.
What You Will Need for Your VITA Appointment
The items below are common documents clients are required to bring in order for us to complete your taxes. Please note that you are not required to have all of these documents (i.e. if you were not a student, you will not need forms 1098-E or 1098-T). Prior to your appointment, please review the following list as well as the examples that are available to make sure you have all applicable documents.
- A photo ID for both you and your spouse
- Social Security Cards for self, spouse and/or dependents
- Saving account information for direct deposit
- Copy of prior year's tax return, if available
**Please note: Your taxes cannot be prepared without valid photo identification and social security cards. If filing jointly, both spouses must be present.**
- Wage and earning statements
- W-2 Form
- Pension (Form 1099-R)
- Broker Statements
- Social Security Income (SSA-1099)
- 1099-Misc if you were self-employed
- 1099-K if you were paid on a credit card (typically Lyft and Uber Drivers)
- Childcare provider's taxpayer identification number (TIN) and total paid
- Proof of education expenses paid (Form 1098-T)
- Charitable contributions receipts
- Mortgage interest (Form 1098)
- A heating bill from November or December
Homeowners: summer & winter property tax bills for the previous year
Renters: Landlord's name and address and proof of rent paid in the previous year
Self-Employed: Bring receipts and itemized records of expenses (i.e. mileage with trips recorded, invoices or another listing of income sources, etc.)
THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS VITA SPONSORS
Because of YOU, we are able to continue providing VITA assistance in Montcalm and Ionia Counties.
Interested in Becoming a Sponsor?
United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is looking for Annual Community Sponsors to support its mission of providing low to moderate-income households with free, reliable assistance in filing federal and state tax returns. United Way offers the VITA program, a service provided by IRS trained volunteers. Volunteers prepare taxes for elderly, disabled, and low to moderate-income households throughout the community. The VITA program could potentially save local families and individuals hundreds of dollars in tax preparation fees while infusing thousands of dollars into the local economy.
For the tax year of 2021, VITA volunteers were able to prepare 232 returns in Montcalm and Ionia counties alone. These returns generated $361,790 in refunds, and saved individuals and families an estimated $75,054 in preparation fees. Seventeen percent or $61,636 of refunds were due to the valuable Earned Income Credit, assisting asset limited, income constrained, employed (ALICE) families with essentials such as groceries, childcare, housing, and transportation needs. Ionia and Montcalm County VITA clients averaged an AGI of around $12,858 in 2021. Our rural counties lack adequate public transportation and efficient high-speed internet access, both fundamentals in accessing essential programs such as tax preparation.
We are asking you to partner with the VITA program by becoming an annual sponsor. Your donations will be used to expand our services offered throughout the community such as expanding the number of tax preparation locations, mileage reimbursement funds, technology equipment upgrades, WIFI boxes for off-site tax preparation, program advertisement, volunteer training, volunteer recruitment, educational materials, tax preparation software, and our annual Teen Financial Literacy Contest.
Thank you to GetYourRefund and Code for America for the use of their platforms.