125 North Fulton St. Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: (607) 273-4611
Toll Free: (877) 273-AFCU      Contact

Free Tax Assistance Information

How fast can I get my refund?
Fast! We offer free electronic filing to get your return to the IRS as quickly as possible. We will deposit your federal refund to the account of your choice in two weeks or less. Don't have an account? Don't worry, anyone can get direct deposit by opening an account with Alternatives.

When can volunteers prepare my tax returns?
The Free Tax Preparation Program runs from January 16 to April 15, 2016.
View this page for info on locations and times.

What are the annual income limits for eligibility for this free service?
$54,000 for taxpayers with a spouse or child on their return and $35,000 for single taxpayers.

We cannot do returns that include:

  • Sale of property, such as a home or stocks or bonds
  • Rental income and expenses (Sch. E)
  • Foreign tax credits
  • Adoption credits
  • Non-resident alien (1040 NR)
  • Household employment (Sch. H)
  • Business partnership (Sch. K)

Note: If you are self-employed (Sch. C or received a 1099-MISC), please fill out our self-employed worksheet before calling 2-1-1 to schedule your appointment.

How do I make an appointment?
If you live in Tompkins or Cortland counties, call 2-1-1, if you live outside those counties, call toll free 1 (877) 211-8667.

What should I bring?
In order to accurately complete your return, you will need to bring certain documents to your appointment. These include:

  • 2015 income information
    • W-2 forms for every job you worked in 2015
    • All 1099 forms
  • Social Security or ITIN cards for: \Yourself
    • Your spouse
    • All qualifying children/dependents
  • Picture ID
  • Any health insurance forms (1095 A/B/C)
  • Account and Routing (ABA) numbers for
  • checking and saving accounts for direct deposit
  • The most recent tax return (if you filed)
  • Total amount of rent paid in 2015
  • Documentation of higher education expenses:
    • Tuition and student fees paid
    • Bursar bill and 1098T
  • Student loan interest payments
  • Daycare expenses and the provider’s name,
  • address, and tax ID number
  • If you own your home:
    • Charitable contributions
    • Mortgage interest
    • Property taxes
    • Medical expenses
  • All other tax mailings
What if I don't qualify?
We have compiled a list of referrals for you.

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Belle Sherman Elementary School Students

On a Tuesday afternoon, students in the Cornell Cooperative Extension's directed SIFE (Students with Interrupted Formal Education) program at Belle Sherman Elementary can be found hard at work learning about money and getting hands-on banking experience depositing money into their Student Credit Union accounts at Alternatives. The students, all refugees from Burma, range in age from 2nd to 5th grade. more»


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