CSET Offers Free Tax Preparation Services in Tulare County


Last updated 3/2/2024 at 4:38pm | View PDF

Community Services Employment Training (CSET) is currently providing free tax preparation services to residents of Tulare County. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program prepares federal and state tax returns at no cost to households with less than $60,000 in annual income.

Each year, CSET helps thousands of residents in Tulare County file their income tax returns for free. Additionally, tax preparers can help residents claim federal/state earned income tax credits that may reduce the amount of tax owed or increase their tax refund.

Earned Income Tax Credits

Tax credits can help lower the amount of tax you owe, and California offers an earned income tax credit (CalEITC) that could lead to a refund, even if you don't owe any tax.

For CalEITC, your income can be up to $30,950, and the tax credit could be up to $3,529. For Young Child Tax Credit (YCTC) and Foster Youth Tax Credit (FYTC), the income limit is $30,931, and you could get up to $1,117. Families earning less than $63,398 might also qualify for the federal EITC, potentially providing up to $12,076 in tax credits from CalEITC, YCTC and federal EITC.

To claim these credits, file a state tax return, and make sure to file a federal return with the IRS for the federal EITC. The amount you get back depends on your income and family size. If your household earns less than $30,000, you could be eligible for CalEITC up to $3,529 for the 2023 tax year.

Immigrant workers with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and current/former foster youth may also qualify. The Young Child Tax Credit offers up to $1,117 if you have a child under 6, and the Foster Youth Tax Credit gives the same if you were in California foster care at age 13 or older.

An online calculator helps estimate your refund. For a full list of state tax credits and to learn more, visit http://www.ftb.ca.gov/caleitc.

VITA Services and Locations

Tax documents can be dropped off at one of CSET's VITA locations (a list of locations follows). Taxes will be prepared on a first-come, first-served basis; no appointments are available. Tax preparers will connect with customers when their taxes are completed.

Customers will be informed about the filing process and contacted over the phone to review, schedule a pickup, and receive authorization to e-file. In-person tax preparation will vary, depending on volunteer availability.

Customers may download the required documents checklist and intake forms at http://www.cset.org/vita, or customers can retrieve a packet from a VITA location:

Visalia: CSET Main Office (312 NW 3rd Ave.) – in-person services on March 9 and 23, and April 6; or at Employment Connection (4025 W. Noble Ave., Suite B) – in-person and drop-off services Tuesdays through Fridays.

Tulare: Tulare Family Resource Center (304 E. Tulare Ave.) – drop-off services on Tuesdays and Thursdays; and in-person services on March 9 and 23, and April 6.

Porterville: Employment Connection (1063 W. Henderson Ave.) – drop-off services on Tuesdays and Thursdays; and in-person services on March 9 and 23, and April 6.

Cutler: Cutler Senior Center (12691 Ave. 408) – drop-off services on Tuesdays and Thursdays; and in-person services on March 9 and 23, and April 6.

Earlimart: Earlimart Family Resource Center (176 N. Front St.) – drop-off services on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Due to high call volumes, CSET will only answer questions about individual tax issues in person at tax sites. For more information on site locations and required documents, visit http://www.cset.org/vita or call (559) 741-4640.


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