United Way

Vita - Volunteer Income Tax Assistance


For thousands of households across our region, accessing the right resources during tax season is critical in obtaining a full tax refund. The simple truth is that when taxes are done right, the result could mean valuable tax credits and refunds that go a long way in a family’s annual budget.

According to the IRS, approximately 20% of residents do not claim one of the biggest boosters to family incomes - the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a refundable credit that can amount to as much as $6,143 per qualifying family- simply because they are unaware of their eligibility, or do not file their taxes.

If you earned less than $60,000 in the previous year, you may qualify for the EITC and you can have your taxes prepared for free from the Kern VITA Partnership.

And as of January 2016, the CalEITC provides additional resources to the working families in our community who most need it.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

United Way of Kern County has run many resourceful programs throughout the years in order to help the community. One of them being the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program. This program falls under the United Way of Kern County financial stability department which is a free income tax assistance program that has granted low income families and single individuals the option of not having to pay for such an expensive service, while still receiving quality work.

Thanks to the help of multiple local partners and our amazingly dedicated volunteers we have been able to not only provide this free service, but also bring money, that is much needed, back into our community. During the 2018 tax year, we were able to file 2,500 tax returns and bring back around 4 million dollars in tax refunds to the community! Our goal is to keep these numbers growing, but in order to do that, we need the help of volunteers.

By becoming a VITA volunteer, not only will you learn about tax laws, but you will develop and discover new skills, meet new people and even make great connections within the kern community. If you are someone looking for a volunteer opportunity where you want to make a change, come out and join us and become a part of the amazing VITA team.

Cal EITC Resources

How Do I Access VITA?

Call for more information:


Locations include:

  • MAOF (Bakersfield main office)
  • Vida Scott Center (southeast Bakersfield)
  • Arvin Family Resource Center
  • Buttonwillow Family Resource Center
  • Child Support Services
  • St. John the Baptist Church (south Bakersfield)
  • K.C. Child Support (downtown Bakersfield office)
  • United Way of Kern County

Mobile VITA sites will be located at:

  • Self Help FCU
  • Bakersfield High School
  • East High School
  • South High School
  • Foothill High School
  • Lamont Family Resource Center

What do I Bring?

  • Picture ID
  • All W-2s
  • All 1099 for OTHER INCOME
  • Social Security Cards or ITIN for self and each family member / dependent
  • Childcare provider information: name, address, and tax id number or social security number
  • Bank account routing number (for direct deposit)
  • Previous year tax return – not required but helpful

Or, File Your Taxes for Free Online

United Way can also help you file your taxes for free, online.

For eligibility information, information on the tax credits you qualify for, and an easy-to-follow process, go myfreetaxes.org.

How Do I Volunteer?

Volunteers are needed to serve as tax preparers, greeters, and translators for the 2018 tax season. No experience is necessary and FREE training will be provided. Training begins soon. To get more information or register to volunteer please contact Susana at susana.e@uwkern.org or call (661) 834-2962.

Our Focus

Early Childhood Literacy

Financial Stability

Homelessness and Hunger

We are all part of this community and together we can make it succeed. At United Way of Kern County we believe that UNITED we can make change happen... one day at a time.
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