Filing with Tax Time Volunteers

Please read the information in the tabs below based on your choice of an in-person or virtual appointment with our Tax Time volunteer team.

The tax filing deadline is Tuesday, April 15, 2024. Be sure to schedule an appointment earlier in the season, as our appointments are limited and may fill up. Virtual appointments will close prior to the tax deadline to ensure our volunteers can process all applicants in a timely manner.

Tax Time volunteers only file federal and state taxes. For information on where and how to file local taxes with the City of Columbus, click here.

You can download and see a detailed list of central Ohio Tax Time sites by clicking here.

Appointment Details:

You can schedule your Tax Time appointments through 2-1-1 beginning Monday, Jan. 22, 2024. You can also check appointment times and sites, and self-schedule your appointment by clicking on the Book Now button. If you are unable to find available appointments online, please call 2-1-1 directly to schedule an appointment.

Book an appointment with United Way of Central Ohio

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Super Saturday
Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024 | 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tax Time is hosting its largest free tax preparation event of the season! The event takes place at Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Ann Isaly Wolfe Education Center on 575 South 18th Street, Columbus, OH 43205.

Super Saturday is a special event offering clients extra services on site that are not available at our regular services sites throughout the season.

Why make an appointment at this event?

* Free tax preparation appointments are offered all day from certified tax preparers.
* The Financial Empowerment Center will be offering appointments for clients to learn about its services and to sign up for free one-on-one financial counseling. This is available through a partnership with Jewish Family Services and the City of Columbus.
* FREE child care available during your appointment. A few restrictions apply.
* Free legal advice clinic from the Legal Aid Society of Columbus. Topics include landlord-tenant, family law, consumer rights, probate, public benefits, criminal record sealing and general legal issues. Attorneys cannot answer criminal or traffic law questions. Individuals must be income eligible for LASC services.
* Community booths will be on site offering a variety of helpful resources.

Please call 2-1-1 after Jan. 22 and choose option 4 to book your Super Saturday appointment or click on the BOOK NOW button beginning Jan. 22 to see if there are self-schedule appointments available for that date and location.


COVID-19 procedures for in-person appointments:

Please contact us to make an appointment. We cannot accept walk-ins at this time.

Masks will be available at all sites, but are not required. If Public Health policies change, clients will be updated at a site.

If you don’t feel well, please reschedule your appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding filing your taxes with Tax Time and becoming a Tax Time volunteer. If you don’t find a relevant answer, please feel free to reach out and contact us through the form below.

FAQs about Filing

Should I file my taxes?

Follow the IRS recommendations below:

  • Most U.S. citizens – and permanent residents who work in the United States – need to file a tax return if they make more than a certain amount for the year.
  • You may want to file even if you make less than the specified amount, because you may get money back if you file. This could apply to you if you:
    • Have had federal income tax withheld from your pay
    • Made estimated tax payments
    • Qualify to claim tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit


What is the income limit to qualify for Tax Time’s VITA services?

If your household income is below $64,000.


What services do your VITA Sites offer?

This document has extensive information regarding what VITA sites do and do not prepare, in addition to the list of what to bring with you: IRS Publication


What should I bring for my tax appointment?

For an IRS checklist, click here, or refer to the list below.

  • Proof of identification (photo ID)
  • Social Security cards for you, your spouse and dependents
  • An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter may be substituted for you, your spouse and your dependents if you do not have a Social Security number
  • Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN
  • Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return
  • Wage and earning statements (Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R,1099-Misc) from all employers
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
  • Health Insurance Exemption Certificate, if received
  • A copy of last year’s federal and state returns, if available
  • 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
  • Forms 1095-A, B and C, Health Coverage Statements
  • Copies of income transcripts from IRS and state, if applicable

To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.


What if I start filing with Tax Time volunteers and decide not to file my return throughout the process?

We understand that a client may work with us and decide to pursue another route or not file their taxes. While this is not common, we will make sure to shred any physical documents we have, delete any files related to your case, and if it’s virtual we will mark your case as closed and your return will not be filed by our team.


Your site filed my return. When will I get my return?

Once our team files your return with the IRS, we unfortunately do not have control of when and how much you receive. You will have to contact the IRS directly for any questions regarding your return once it’s been filed and accepted by the IRS. Returns filed by mail can take longer to process than returns e-filed. Additionally, returns with direct deposit often process much quicker than returns that require mailed checks.


Why is my refund amount not the amount your team showed me at my appointment?

While this is rare, there are occasions where you may receive a refund amount different from what we discussed. Our preparers are diligent in ensuring that correct information is entered on returns, but if a client incorrectly reports information, then that can impact your return when the IRS processes your responses. Please call our team if this happens and we can investigate with you what happened and if a change needs to be made.


What if I get a letter from the IRS and don’t know how to resolve it?

Depending on your circumstances, you can reach out to our team, and we will refer you to Legal Aid Society of Columbus if you qualify for  free services for support resolving your issue with the IRS.


Do you file local taxes?

No, we only file federal and state taxes as a VITA program. Local taxes can now be paid online! If you need to file your local taxes or learn more about local tax requirements, please download this resource from the Columbus City Auditor on who has to file and how to do it. You can also ask our volunteer teams for guidance, though they cannot file them.

FAQs about Volunteering

What is the time commitment?

The time commitment varies based on the role you choose and your availability. We ask that volunteers commit 4 hours per week if possible. Four hours covers a typical shift at a site. However, we are flexible and willing to work around your availability and the needs of our sites (in-person and virtual). Additionally, the virtual setting tends to have more flexibility when you are working.


Are there required certifications?

Yes, Tax Time sites are a part of the IRS VITA Program, and therefore, every volunteer is required to pass certifications dependent on their chosen volunteer role. While this may sound intimidating, we have very thorough training resources to walk you through every step. We also have a variety of methods to train, including in-person trainings and virtual, self-paced trainings that allow you to certify at your own pace. Once you have passed them once, it’s much quicker in future years. We also have many past volunteers and a volunteer trainer available to answer questions as you work through the questions.


Do I need to have experience preparing taxes?

You do not need to have experience preparing taxes. Though it is very helpful, we provide all of the resources and tools necessary to be a volunteer with our team. Additionally, not all volunteers prepare taxes. We are in great need of tax preparers, but we also have other roles, such as intake specialists, who do not actually prepare tax returns.


Can I get continuing education credits?

Yes! If you volunteer with us, you could qualify for continuing education credits. Please email us for more details.


Is the volunteer opportunity in-person or virtual?

We currently have both opportunities. We have a completely virtual platform for preparing taxes, as well as almost 20 in-person sites.


What training support is offered to volunteers?

We have a vast array of training resources and formats for volunteers to study for their certification requirements. These involve in-person and virtual trainings, online training courses, pdfs and PowerPoints, etc. We have worked hard to build a large and easy-to-follow toolkit for our volunteers.


Will I work alone at my volunteer site?

No, you will have a team to support you! If you are worried about volunteering with our team for the first time because of nerves of preparing a tax return alone, we can assure you that you will be working with a team. Every site has a site coordinator, who serves as the site supervisor, guide and leader for the volunteers. In addition, we try and mix seasoned volunteers with new volunteers to ensure there is adequate support if you have any questions or come across a more difficult return.


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