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FREE Tax Prep 2021
If your household income was less than $56,000 in 2020, you qualify to have your taxes prepared for free!
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) provides free tax return preparation and helps working families access the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and many other credits and savings.
To make an appointment, please call 211.
Find a VITA Tax Prep Site near you
Tip: Remember to bring your tax documents, a photo ID, and account information (if you want a direct deposit of your refund).
There are VITA sites throughout the region, with various dates and times of operation:
PEACE, Inc. at the Syracuse Community Health Center (Salina St. Entrance)
823 S. Salina Street (Syracuse)
Dates: February 12, 2021 - December 31, 2021
Tuesdays and Saturdays: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesdays and Thursdays: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Northeast Hawley Development Association (NEHDA)
101 Gertrude Street (Syracuse)
Dates: February 12, 2021 - April 15, 2021
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
Dropoff: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm | Pickup: 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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 $9,500 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.
Links for Self Prep
IRS Free File - Prepare and file your federal individual income tax return for free using tax-preparation-and-filing software. Open now!
My Free Taxes - Helps anyone of any income file their taxes for free. Brought to you by United Way. Open now!
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