“VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) is going virtual providing free tax preparation without in-person contact. The virtual platform now available to tax payers connects filers with an off-site tax counselor. These volunteers are the same group of IRS-Certified Tax Preparers that have provided these services at the Westport Center for Senior Services and at Westport Town Hall for many years.”
By clicking on the link below you are leaving the Town of Westport’s website. You are submitting your personal information at your own risk, and the Town is not liable for the security of your personal information. Sign up for Tax Preparation and Assistance
What technology will I need?You will need to fill out the survey on a smartphone or computer. You will also need access to WiFi, as well as a working phone number and email address.
How will this work?Complete the online intake survey which will ask you to fill out basic personal information, upload photos of your tax forms, and choose an appointment time. A VITA preparer will call you shortly after submission and let you know they have been assigned to your return. A second VITA preparer will check their work before filing.
Who is eligible for Virtual VITA?At this time, VITA can only assist people who are filing their current year 2019 taxes. Also, we can only help those with either a smartphone or computer and reliable WiFi. If you need to amend a tax return that has already been filed, or need to file taxes for 2018 or earlier, VITA recommends using the My Free Taxes service.
What forms will I need to fill out the survey?
The survey will ask you to submit pictures of all relevant tax forms and receipts for 2019 and a photo ID. Examples include:
- Retirement income
- Social Security benefits
- Unemployment income
- Self-employment income
- Interest and dividend income
- Tuition statement
- Car tax payment
- Real estate tax payment
- Child care payments
- Personal business expenses
- Access Health CT insurance
If you are filing with a spouse and/or dependents(s), please upload all relevant documentation for them too.
How much time will the process take?Please give yourself at least 30 minutes to complete the survey, depending on your comfort with technology.
After that a preparer and reviewer could take up to an hour with you depending upon the complexity of the return.
What will I need for my phone appointment?All relevant tax forms and receipts for 2019, as well as the Social Security cards of yourself, your spouse, and any dependents. If you think you’ll receive a refund, please also have your bank account information on hand.
VITA Security ProtocolVITA can only implement best practices as no plan is 100% fail-safe, it is indeed of paramount importance that we use every available security protocol to provide the safest environment for our clients.
- VITA has encrypted the form with a private key that will be shared ONLY by the IRS-Certified Group of Tax Preparers.
- At the bottom of the welcome page, a message of "This Form is Encrypted" will show. This means that encryption has been enabled and that only individuals assigned the private key on their device will have access.
- The VITA Virtual Site Coordinator is responsible for giving out the keys and if there is any indication that an issue may arise, the Coordinator will issue new private keys immediately.
- VITA ensures that within a 24-hour period from the time we receive a submission to the time a final tax return is complete and filed, that the client's data is wiped clean from the form's secure database. Their goal is a swift turnaround, with no remaining data hanging around.