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Free Tax Preparation In Oakland

Photo: David Reber/Flickr

State and federal tax returns are due by April 17th; here are two options for getting one of the year's least pleasant tasks out of the way early--and for free.

Because of major budget cuts, the IRS is no longer providing many tax forms and instructions to libraries. Before your appointment, download forms directly from the IRS website or visit the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center at 1301 Clay Street in downtown Oakland, open weekdays from 8:30am-4:30pm.

Here's what you should bring to your tax prep appointment:
  • copies of last year's federal and state tax returns
  • Social Security card
  • 2017 wage and income statements (Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R,1099-Misc) from all employers
  • valid photo ID
  • interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
  • all Forms 1095- A,B or C (Health Insurance Statements)
  • proof of bank account routing and account numbers for direct deposit such as a blank check
  • total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider's tax identifying number such as their Social Security number or business Employer Identification Number
  • copies of income transcripts from IRS and state, if applicable (example: unemployment benefits)
  • if filing a joint return, your spouse.

Oakland Public Library

The Oakland Public Library system offers free tax preparation and filing in partnership with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Priority is given to senior citizens.

All available dates, times and branch locations are located on the Oakland Public Library website; call one of the branches listed here to set an appointment.

Volunteers will be available to answer questions and help you prepare your tax returns from now until April 14th.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) in partnership with The United Way offers free tax preparation for residents who earned $54,000 or less last year.

VITA can file your 2017 tax returns (federal and state) and The United Way can file previous returns and out of state returns.

To make an appointment, contact the The Unity Council Career Center at 510-535-6101 between 9am and 6pm on weekdays. The program serves clients out of their facility at 1900 Fruitvale Avenue.

Visit The United Council's website for a complete list of required documents.

Not a U.S. citizen? File through VITA with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number assignment letter which may be substituted if you do not have a Social Security number.

If you've found other free tax preparation locations in Oakland, email tips@hoodline.com.

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