State Controller and Franchise Tax Board Chairwoman Betty Yee on Monday called for California volunteers to become certified to help low-income residents file tax returns free of charge as part of the Voluntary Income Tax Assistance program.
Yee said the VITA program will be particularly important in the coming year as California rolls out its version of the Earned Income Tax Credit, designed to boost the income of low-earning households.
The California EITC, funding for which is included in the state’s fiscal 2015-16 budget, provides up to $2,600 to qualified claimants. The state credit will benefit about 600,000 taxpayers and their families, according to tax officials.
VITA volunteers receive about 40 hours of free training on basic federal and state tax preparation from the Internal Revenue Service and FTB. Last year, nearly 11,000 VITA volunteers prepared about 580,000 federal and state tax returns at nearly 1,000 sites throughout California.
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For more information, visit FTB’s VITA page at ftb.ca.gov or call 800-852-5711.