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FREE Tax Prep 2020

It's tax season again! Anyone who made less than $56,000 in 2019 qualifies to get their taxes prepared for free.

Pro Tip: Be sure to bring your tax documents, a photo ID, and account information (if you want direct deposit of your refund). Plus, bring your savings account number and routing number for a chance to win $30,000 when you enter the SaveYourRefund contest!

Find a Local VITA Tax Prep Sites

There are several Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites throughout the region, with various dates and times:

  • PEACE, Inc at Syracuse Community Health Center (Salina St Entrance) | 823 S Salina Street, Syracuse | January 21, 2020 — April 15, 2020
    • Hours (Appointments Available & Walk Ins Welcomed):
      • Tuesdays 10:00 a.m.—6:00 p.m.
      • Wednesdays 12:00 p.m.—7:00 p.m.
      • Thursdays 12:00 p.m.—7:00 p.m.
      • Saturdays 10:00 a.m.— 6:00 p.m.
    • Call 315-634-3756
  • 1199 SEIU | 250 S. Clinton Street, Syracuse | January 21, 2020 — April 15, 2020
    • Hours (Appointments Only):
      • Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays 5:30 p.m.—9:00 p.m.
      • Saturdays 9:00 a.m.—2:00 p.m. 
      • Tax Prep for individuals with military income available Tuesdays & Thursdays
    • Call 315-295-1822 

  • JOBSplus! at County Office Building | 600 S. State St., 4th Floor, Syracuse | January 27, 2020 — April 10, 2020
    • Full Service Hours  (Appointments Only - English and Vietnamese):
      • Mondays - Fridays: 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    • Facilitated Self Assistance Hours (Appointments Only):
      • Mondays - Fridays: 12:30 p.m.—3:00 p.m. 
    • Call 315-442-3242  

Click here for the full list of sites and to learn more. Please note that some are by appointment only.

More Tips for a Money Smart Tax Season

  • Don't pay for your own money. If you e-file with direct deposit, your refund will arrive in just 1 to 2 weeks! No fees, no interest, no baloney. All of the VITA sites use e-file, and will help you enroll for direct deposit. At Cooperative Federal, you can arrange a direct deposit into your checking OR savings account. If you really can't wait 2 weeks for your refund, you may want to consider applying for a small loan or line of credit -- at regular interest rates, not predatory rates! Call 315-473-0242 to speak with a credit specialist at Cooperative Federal.​​​​​
  • Get a financial check up. Tax season is a good opportunity to evaluate your financial health and make plans for the new year. You can get free, one-on-one advising through the Syracuse Financial Empowerment Center. Cooperative Federal is a proud partner for this initiative! Learn more about the Syracuse FEC.
  • Start a rainy day fund. Use your tax refund to build up some emergency savings. You never know when you might need it! You can open a separate savings account to keep the money safe, secure, and there when you need it. 
  • Make the most of your refund. Tax refund time is the best time to save toward your financial goals, like a home, a business, or higher education. 

    If homeownership is your goal, Cooperative Federal is now accepting applicants to the Homebuyer Dream Program. First-time homebuyers (those who haven't owned a home in 3 years) can get up to $14,500 in grants when they contribute at least $1,000. The money can then be used toward down payments, closing costs, or other approved purposes. Income limits and other eligibility criteria apply. Our HUD Housing Counseling program can get you ready for this step!

    Tax refunds can also help you with a down payment on a car, so that you can pay less in monthly auto loan payments; or put some personal equity into a microbusiness, so that you're in better shape for a business loan.


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