VITA, a Program of the Financial Education Center

REMINDER: If you are receiving Unemployment Benefits, it may be important  for you to choose to have taxes taken out, as you will be receiving a 1099G form in January when you file taxes. Depending on your income bracket, you may have to pay taxes on their benefits.

For more info they can visit

Topic No. 418 Unemployment Compensation

The tax treatment of unemployment benefits you receive depends on the type of program paying the benefits. Unemployment compensation includes amounts received under the laws of the United States or of a state, such as:

  • State unemployment insurance benefits
  • Benefits paid to you by a state or the District of Columbia from the Federal Unemployment Trust Fund
  • Railroad unemployment compensation benefits
  • Disability benefits paid as a substitute for unemployment compensation
  • Trade readjustment allowances under the Trade Act of 1974
  • Unemployment assistance under the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1974, and
  • Unemployment assistance under the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 Program

If you received unemployment compensation during the year, you must include it in gross income. To determine if your unemployment is taxable, see Are Payments I Receive for Being Unemployed Taxable?

You may be required to make quarterly estimated tax payments. However, you can choose to have federal income tax withheld. For more information, refer to Form W-4V, Voluntary Withholding Request (PDF). You should receive a Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments (PDF) showing the amount of unemployment compensation paid to you during the year in Box 1, and any federal income tax withheld in Box 4. Report the amount shown in Box 1 on line 7 of Schedule 1, (Form 1040 or 1040-SR), Additional Income and Adjustments to Income (PDF) and attach this to the Form 1040 (PDF) or Form 1040-SR (PDF). Include the withholding shown in Box 4 on line 17 of Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR. For more information on unemployment, see Unemployment Benefits in Publication 525.


Image may contain: possible text that says 'Homeless Americans also qualify for an Economic Impact Payment. If they normally don't file taxes, they need to sign up at IRS IRS'

If you haven’t filed your taxes yet and are looking to get your stimulus faster, you have until this Wednesday, 5/13/2020 at noon to do that. Paper checks are being mailed out after then which will be a big focus for the IRS.

The email below provides links to free IRS tax prep software OR let us know in the Financial Education Center and we’ll be happy to help you prepare your taxes OR assist you with navigating the IRS forms.

Contact Gladys to set up an appointment: 978-654-5673 OR You can email Sandra Diaz directly at

VITA Tax Preparation Program UPDATE 3/26/2020:


We apologize as we had gotten some misinformation that said the IRS was not processing tax returns. We have since found out that they are indeed accepting, processing and sending refund checks.  This is very good news for staff or clients who are expecting refund checks!

We have ramped back up our VITA Free Tax Prep in complete virtual mode and are once again completing returns. For the next couple of days we are working our way through completing about 100 returns for clients who were already in-process, but beginning next week (March 30th 2020) we will be accepting new clients or staff who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. If you have any questions for the VITA Team you can email them directly at: or call Chris Santos-Gordon, Director of the Financial Education Center at 978-654-5675.

Featured snippet from the web

Tax Year 2019 Income Limits and Range of EITC

Number of Qualifying Children            Income Must be Less Than              Range of EITC

No Child                                                                         $15,570                                            $2 to $529

One Child                                                                      $41,094                                            $9 to $3,526

Two Children                                                               $46,703                                          $10 to $5,828

Three or More Children                                           $50,162                                          $11 to $6,557



Financial Education Center

  • Financial Education
  • Asset Development
  • Secure Jobs
Attention about your Massachusetts Tax Return!

MAFPML- by joangong

The State of Massachusetts has begun accepting tax returns

There have been a lot of returns rejected with errors for the following reason:

  • The Excess Paid Family Leave Withholding amount has been calculated incorrectly by the State. **

Not all returns are being rejected, only those with the incorrect withholding amount.

CTI will prepare your tax returns as promised and once the State of Massachusetts notifies us, we will submit them.

This issue could hold up both State and Federal returns as they need to be submitted at the same time and we are relying on the State to inform us as to when we can submit for you.

It is not just CTI’s VITA site, this is happening with all electronic tax filing systems where the Excess Paid Family Leave Withholding is incorrectly reported on the W-2.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $56,000 or less, persons with disabilities and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.

If your 2019 adjusted gross income is over $56,000 but less than $69,000, you can visit these IRS suggested sites: and still be able to file your taxes for free.

Vita Tax Program Appointment


In Person Tax Preparation: By Appointment Only

This service is for clients that prefer to be present during their tax preparation. Offered Wednesday night’s 5-8 PM and Saturday mornings 9 AM – 12 PM

Virtual Drop Off Tax Preparation: By Appointment Only

This site is using Virtual VITA Method to prepare your tax return Intake Site plus a Return Preparation and Quality Review Site: This method includes the taxpayer dropping-off their personal identifiable information (identification, social security numbers, Form W-2 and all other tax documents) at the site in order to prepare and quality review the tax return, client will not be present during preparation of their returns. The taxpayer will use our online scheduler to choose a time and date to drop off all of the required forms. The taxpayer will have the option to come back a week later (7 days) to the drop off site to sign any necessary forms required to e-file their returns and pick up a copy of their returns or they will have the option to have their returns and any form they need to sign sent to them via email. Note: If choosing email: The clients will receive one secure email containing Form 8879 (IRS e-file Signature Authorization) for Federal Return & Form M-8453 (Individual Income Tax Declaration for Electronic Filing) for State Returns. Once the forms are signed & returned, the client will receive another email with a copy of their returns. If the client does not return Form 8879 & Form M-8453 signed, their returns will not be filed (delaying their refund) and they will not receive a copy of their returns. When necessary, the site will use the clients preferred method of contact to contact the taxpayer if additional information is needed while preparing or quality reviewing the tax return (E-mail or Phone Call). Offered Monday through Friday 9 AM – 12 PM

Volunteering Opportunity

Learn to prepare taxes and make a difference in your community at the same time.

How can you make a difference?

Simple! Volunteer to help your community by preparing taxes free of charge with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Programs (VITA)

What is Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Programs (VITA)?

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $56,000 or less, persons with disabilities and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.

How does this program work?

As a committed tax volunteer you will be assigned to work with a sponsoring organization (Community Teamwork), to receive training and then to begin volunteering during Tax Season (February thru Mid-April).

You will receive training to provide free tax help for low-to-moderate income families who need assistance preparing their tax returns. As a volunteer, you will join the thousands of others who each year prepare millions of tax returns at thousands of tax sites nationwide. Training is offered both online and in the classroom.



For additional information and next steps, submit your inquiry to

Sandra Diaz at or 978-654-5725 and you will be one-step closer on becoming a VITA Tax Volunteer and giving back to your community.

Why pay to have someone do your taxes when CTI will do them for free? VITA is offered to low-income individuals, and families who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Appointments are scheduled on Wednesday nights (Feb 5 through April 8, 5pm-8pm) and Saturday mornings (Feb 1 through April 11, 9am-12 Noon) during tax season. We are located at 17 Kirk Street, 1st Floor, Lowell and available by APPOINTMENT ONLY. We will start scheduling appointments on Monday, January 13th, 2020. Please call to learn more: 978.654.5725 or 978.654.5673.

If your household annual income is $56,000 or less you may qualify for EITC & CTC (depending on your household size and if you have qualified dependents) you can take advantage of our VITA Tax Preparation Program – Completely FREE!   

 ** We CANNOT prepare returns for the following **  

  • Cancellation of Debt due to foreclosure or insolvency
  • Foreign students
  • Business income
  • Military income
  • Capital gain or loss
  • International income
  • Rental real estate income
  • Stocks, dividends or bonds
  • Puerto Rico or US Territory
  • Ride Sharing (Uber/Lyft)

What is VITA?

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $56,000 or less, persons with disabilities and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.

What is EITC?

The United States federal earned income tax credit or earned income credit (EITC or EIC) is a refundable tax credit for low to moderate income working individuals and couples, particularly those with children. The amount of EITC benefit depends on a recipient’s income and number of children.

What is CTC?

Beginning with Tax Year 2018, you may able to claim the Child Tax Credit if you have a qualifying child under the age of 17 and meet other qualifications. The maximum amount per qualifying child is $2,000. Up to $1,400 of the credit can be refundable for each qualifying child as the Additional Child Tax Credit. A refundable tax credit may give you a refund even if you don’t owe any tax. Your qualifying child must have a Social Security Number issued by the Social Security Administration before the due date of your tax return (including extensions) to be claimed as a qualifying child for the Child Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit.

VITA Tax Flyer – 2019 Schedule for 2018 Tax Season

Tax Document Checklist for Appointment


MASSCAP Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) Site – Business Fact Sheet

MASSCAP Volunteer Tax Assistance Program (VITA) – Fact Sheet Overview


Be aware of phone & mail frauds claiming that money is owed to the IRS, MassDor or from Social Security Administration claiming that their social security number has been compromised, the IRS, MassDor and Social Security Administration will not contact anyone by phone. They will mail out letters of communications, also, be aware that scammers have also compromised communications letters from any of these agencies, if they are unsure they should contact the agencies directly at the phone numbers or email provided  on this site – not the letter received 0 those can be fake numbers as well.

Identified Issue
The Internal Revenue Service is aware of a new scheme where criminals, after stealing client data from tax professionals, are filing fraudulent tax returns which include the taxpayers’ real bank accounts for the refund deposits. The fraudulent refunds are deposited into the real taxpayers’ accounts. The criminal subsequently contacts the taxpayers requesting/demanding the funds be returned and instructs the taxpayers how to return the funds. The taxpayers who follow these instructions are sending the money to the actual criminal and not the IRS.
Required Corrective Actions
Taxpayers should be alert to any unusual activity such as receiving a tax refund they did not request.
Taxpayers who receive a direct deposit refund that they did not request (or did not file a tax return for) should take the following steps:
1. Contact the Automated Clearing House (ACH) department of the bank/financial institution where the direct deposit was received and ask the bank or financial institution to return the refund to the IRS.
2. Call the IRS toll-free

LEARN MORE – Archives

EITC Client Flyer – Important Announcement: 2016 Refund Delay Notice UPDATE COMING SOON

VITA and ETIC Resources

IRS – 800-829-1040

MassDor – – Toll Free 800-392-6089

Social Security Administration – – Toll Free 800-772-1213

National Taxpayer Advocate – – Toll Free 877-777-4778

Save Your Refund Contest – – contact email  (nice video in English and Spanish on EITC)

IRS EITC Awareness Toolkit

Prosperity Now EITC Awareness Toolkit

Tax Credits for Working Families

Listen to Chris Santos-Gordon, Director of the Financial Education Center  discuss on WCAP980 radio the opportunities available at the Financial Education Center at Community Teamwork 2/6/18

Important Announcement for Taxpayers who file for the Earned Income Credit 

“The IRS reminds taxpayers that a new law requires the IRS to hold refunds claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until Feb. 15. In addition, the IRS wants taxpayers to be aware it will take several days for these refunds to be released and processed through financial institutions. Factoring in weekends and the President’s Day holiday, the IRS cautions that many affected taxpayers may not have actual access to their refunds until the week of Feb. 27.”

This means that wherever you have your tax return prepared, either with Community Teamwork or a private preparer, the same federal rule applies.  The IRS will hold all EITC refunds until Feb. 15th no matter where they originated from.

Get in Touch

165 Merrimack Street, Lowell MA  01852

978.459.0551 / 978.654.5676 / 978.654.5673

Get In Touch

165 Merrimack Street
Lowel, MA 01852

978.654.5725 or
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(978) 459–0551 / 978.654.5676
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