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. The IRS will generally 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 Tuesday, January 16 to Saturday, April 15, 2017. View this page for information on locations and times.

What are the annual income limits for eligibility for this free service?
As long as your net income is $54,000 or less, we can help you file your return for free unless your return is out of scope for VITA.

We cannot do returns that include:

  • Rental income and expenses (Sch. E) (we will help homeowners who rent a portion of their own home)
  • 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:

  • 2016 income information
    • W-2 forms for every job you worked in 2016
    • 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 2016
  • 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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Express Employment Professionals, Kathy Nivison

With a background of 15 years in Human Resources, Kathy Nivison started up the Ithaca office of Express Employment Professionals to better serve local employment and recruiting needs. Kathy approached Alternatives for a business loan, and was impressed with both the loan's low interest rate, as well as the quick response from Bob Anderson, the business loan officer at Alternatives.

Kathy took advantage of our "Women and Minority" subsidized loan, which helps women and minority borrowers who have a minimum of one year in business and are looking for assistance with continued growth and expansion.


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