Free Tax Preparation in San Diego CA Claim Earned Income Credit

By | December 27, 2015

San Diego has a number of locations that provide free tax preparation and filing services free of charge via the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Per the IRS website you likely qualify for these free services if you:


IRS Vita in San Diego and Free Tax Filing in San Diego

“make $51,000 or less and need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals in local communities.

They can inform taxpayers about special tax credits for which they may qualify such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled.

VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations.”

Earned Income Credit and Free Tax Preparation in San Diego

The Earned Income Tax Credit is a federal tax credit for working families and individuals, and often times, left unclaimed. One of Thrive San Diego’s goals is to increase participation in the Earned Income Tax Credit. In addition to free tax return preparation assistance, Thrive sites also offer free electronic filing (e-filing). Individuals taking advantage of the e-file program will receive their refunds in half the time compared to returns filed on paper – even faster when tax refunds are deposited directly into one’s bank account.


Who can get free tax preparation in San Diego?

Interns from San Diego State University, Cal State San Marcos and Southwest College are placed with various community based organizations to support the organization’s free tax preparation program. Through Thrive San Diego, community members are able to receive the benefit of this complimentary service, while college students are given the opportunity to expand on their knowledge and skills using this hands-on, real life experience.


San Diego Free Tax Preparation Locations

San Diego Housing Commission: 619-578-7451
Home Start: 619-283-3624 or
IRC: 619-641-7510 ext. 287
MAAC Project: 619-426-3595 ext. 1260

North Inland
North County Lifeline/Vista: 760-842-6225
Interfaith Community Services: 760-489-6380
MAAC Project: 619-426-3595 ext. 1260

IRC: 619-641-7510 ext. 287
Home Start: 619-283-3624 or

North Central
SAY San Diego: 858-974-3603
Chinese Service Center: 858-505-9906
Community Resource Center: 760-753-8300 ext. 1404

North Coastal
North County Lifeline/Oceanside: 760-842-6225

South Bay Community Services: 619-420-3620
MAAC Project: 619-426-3595 ext. 1260
San Diego Housing Commission: 619-578-7451

Disabled Services
Goodwill Industries: (619) 225-9483
Goodwill Industries: (760) 722-8582
Towards Maximum Independence: (858) 467-0600
State Council on Developmental
Disabilities – Area Board XIII: (619) 688-3323
Being Alive: (619) 291-1400


Virtual VITA – Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Housing Opportunities Collaborative, El Cajon

Virtual VITA – Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Housing Opportunities Collaborative, Encinitas

Virtual VITA – Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Housing Opportunities Collaborative, Imperial Beach


Other San Diego Free Tax Prep Information

This year (2015) both the federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) have experienced major budget reductions. As a result both agencies have made large reductions in the distribution of paper forms and tax materials. Both agencies have reduced the number of forms sent to libraries; in addition the IRS will no longer send instruction booklets or publications to libraries participating in the tax form distribution program. Also, the San Diego IRS office (Federal Building, 880 Front Street, San Diego, CA 92101) will no longer stock forms for public distribution and will no longer provide assistance to low-income or disabled filers. Taxpayers are being directed to the IRS website or the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program) site for assistance.