On March 20, 2020, the US Department of the Treasury announced that the tax filing season has been extended until July 15, 2020 and that taxpayers impacted by COVID 19 will not need to file extensions. While some agencies have traditionally offered year-round VITA options, CAP Utah anticipates that additional agencies may extend their VITA seasons to coincide with the new deadline. This will vary by individual agency. Households are encouraged to reach out to their local VITA Regional Coordinators (see the agencies listed in the original post)
Community Action Partnership of Utah (CAP Utah) is providing an update on the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program as a result of COVID 19 concerns. This is an update to an original post on March 12, 2020.
The VITA program utilizes IRS-certified volunteers to provide free tax preparation for families earning less than $56,000.00. Volunteers are specially trained to identify opportunities to claim Earned Income Credit, Child Tax Credit, and other credits that help working families meet basic needs, increase income, and move towards greater self-reliance. CAP Utah and its Tax Help Utah partners are committed to helping families receive this valuable service in a manner that is safe for program participants, agency staff, and volunteers.
On March 12, 2020, Governor Gary Herbert and other state officials announced measures to combat the recent Coronavirus outbreak. Some of the recommendations included closing Utah’s public universities and colleges and limiting public gatherings. Since then, additional guidelines from the Center for Disease Controls and Utah Department of Health have further restricted public gatherings and closed many public schools and facilities.
The impact of these recommendations effects each VITA site and program differently. Some VITA sites at universities have closed with very little notice and will remain closed until next year; some VITA sites may see a reduction in available appointments due to a reduction in volunteers or to conform with recommendations from local health authorities (currently restricted to groups of 10 individuals); some VITA sites may expand “virtual VITA” opportunities which allow tax preparation services to be administered with minimal human contact; some VITA sites will remain unchanged. The status of each site can change depending on new localized guidance and based on changing information.
To help individuals and households who may have questions or want to explore alternative free tax preparation options, they should refer to utahtaxhelp.org. In some instances, it may be necessary to reach out directly to their regional coordinators at the following agencies:
|Bear River Association of Governments||Cache, Rich, and Box Elder Counties|
|Ogden-Weber Community Action Partnership||Weber County|
|Open Doors||Davis and Morgan Counties|
|Community Action Partnership of Utah||Salt Lake and Toole Counties|
|Uintah Basin Association of Governments||Duchesne, Uintah, and Daggett Counties|
|United Way of Utah County||Utah, Summit, and Wasatch Counties|
|Southeastern Utah Association of Local Governments||Carbon, Emery, Grand, and San Juan Counties|
|Six County Association of Governments||Juab, Sevier, Sanpete, Wayne, Piute, and Millard Counties|
|Five County Association of Governments||Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane, and Washington Counties|
Thank you for your understanding.