Tax Assistance

Limited Operations using Virtual Services – Updated 3/23/2020

Due to Covid19 virus concerns, the Orange County Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) is transitioning to a Virtual Service providing assistance with 2019 tax returns for some taxpayers.  The tax filing deadline for both Federal and NC State returns has been delayed to July 15, 2020.  Please review the information below to learn about our plans and alternative sources of tax assistance.  We will continue to post status updates on this website as well as our VITA Appointment line 919-245-4242.

We are committed to providing assistance to as many low and moderate-income taxpayers as possible, however we are staffed with IRS certified volunteers, most in the highest-risk categories themselves. We may be able to reopen our standard VITA services in June in order to provide assistance for the new July 15th deadline, however both the timing and capacity of that service is uncertain at this time. All current appointments through April 15th have been cancelled and we are not making new appointments at this time. 

In the meantime, we will begin offering a Virtual VITA service available to taxpayers meeting all of the following criteria:

  • US Citizen or Green Card holder
  • Had an appointment with Orange County VITA from March 13 through April 15
  • Completed tax returns with Orange County VITA last year (2018 tax year)
  • Have internet access and can receive emails
  • Can receive and place phone calls through a landline or cell
  • Have a computer and scanner OR a cell phone camera

During the coming week, we will be sending an email with more information about this new Virtual VITA program to those that had appointments and completed 2018 tax returns with our VITA service.  If you did not provide an email address when making your appointment and meet all criteria, you can send an email to ocncvita@gmail.com requesting more information.

Please be aware there are options for free tax assistance through the IRS’s Free File Program as well as other VITA sites in North Carolina that may still be open for assistance:

  • IRS Free Self-Assistance (FSA) program available at www.irs.gov search for “free file”. Taxpayers can use free software to prepare their returns themselves for free. There are several options available.  A similar service is available for NC state returns at www.ncdor.gov/ncfreefile          
  • United Way sponsors MyFreeTaxes: https://www.unitedway.org/myfreetaxes. There is no income limit to use this online service and simple returns can be completed at no charge.  More complex returns, such as those requiring a Schedule-C (self-employment/small business), Schedule D (capital gains) and Schedule E (rental income), are not free. MyFreeTaxes offers support in using their online service from 10am-10pm 7 days per week.
  • Our understanding is that both Chatham and Durham County VITA sites are currently closed, however other VITA sites may be open.  To locate other sites, visit www.irs.gov/vita or call the United Way hotline by dialing “211” on your phone. Be sure to call before going to any VITA site to ensure they are open.

If you decide to use a paid preparer to complete your tax return, please visit www.irs.gov/chooseataxpro for some helpful tips.