Filing an accurate tax return is a challenge for many hardworking Montanans; and, unfortunately, each year many individuals and families miss out on valuable tax credits for which they qualify. Montana’s credit unions, along with several community organizations across the state, work to provide free tax filing options to those in need of assistance. In addition to managing free tax sites, MCUCD leads two statewide coalitions that work on issues related to free tax filing services.
Since 2005 MCUCD has partnered with credit unions to provide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites in their communities. VITA is a program that utilizes IRS-trained and certified volunteers to prepare tax returns for community members who make less than $52,000 and have fairly straightforward tax returns. VITA sites are sponsored by the IRS all over the country at community centers, libraries, churches, and other convenient locations such as local credit unions.
The Montana VITA Partnership (MVP) is a statewide partnership of VITA providers working together to standardize practices and attract funding for VITA sites located in rural Montana communities. MVP partners include MCUCD, Opportunity Link, Inc., District 7 HRDC in Billings, Community Action Partnership of Northwest Montana in Kalispell, and District 9 HRDC in Bozeman.
MCUCD also manages the MontanaFreeFile.org (MFF) partnership, a statewide public awareness campaign informing Montanans about the free tax filing options available to them. MFF was formed out of a collaborative effort in 2006 and has expanded to include non-profit and government organizations. Current partners include MCUCD, RDI, Montana Legal Services Association, Montana Department of Revenue, Opportunity Link, Inc., and AARP Tax-Aide Montana, and the Student Assistance Foundation (SAF).
If you made $62,000 or less during 2015 you can file your federal and state taxes online for free with MyFreeTaxes, as well as find useful tax-related tools and information. All you need to get started is an email address and your 2015 tax forms. For assistance with MyFreeTaxes.com dial 855-My-Tx-Help.