Mission Statement

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program


Mission

The mission of VITA is to provide free basic tax return preparation for low-to-moderate-income, elderly, and disabled taxpayers.


Program Description

  • Program objective – Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) provides quality, free tax preparation services to low-to-moderate-income individuals and families at sites currently operated in Rochester, Stewartville, Mantorville, Kasson, Dodge Center, and Lanesboro, MN. We also do outreach to approximately 12 elderly housing sites. We serve taxpayers with income of $75,000 and less.

  • The three largest preparation sites include the Rochester Salvation Army, Senior Citizens Service, Inc (DBA 125 Live), and Hawthorne Education Center. These and other sites provide space for the program including utilities and internet access.

  • The VITA program could not be offered without the partnership of our program sponsors, site locations, and the United Way of Olmsted County. Thanks to all of our VITA partners.

  • The on-site tax assistance is provided by volunteers who provide the following assistance:

    • Receptionist and intake, which involves welcoming taxpayers and explaining necessary information, including completion of an intake booklet.

    • Preparation and quality review of all returns.

    • Printing and electronic submission of returns.

  • The returns prepared generally include a federal Form 1040, plus MN Forms M1 and M1PR (property tax and renters rebate refund claim).

  • The taxpayer preparation assistance is generally offered from February 1st through April 15th, although summer sessions are scheduled focusing on the M1PR filings, which have an August 15th deadline. Also, selected volunteers are available throughout the year to assist taxpayers who have received correspondence from the IRS or MNDOR about returns prepared at one of our sites.

  • The VITA program involves approximately 90 local volunteers. Although the 2019 and 2020 tax year programs were affected by the Covid situation, the program assisted approximately 4,000 taxpayers for tax year 2018.

  • IRS Pub 4836 VITA Program