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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Rima Shamieh

My IDA [Individual Development Account] experience was just incredible. I saved a few bucks every week and after a year, I had a savings account with $3,000 in it! And I'm glad that the MoneyWise class was required, because it really helped me develop a healthier relationship with money. So many of the skills I learned in class seemed so obvious, but I never thought/knew how to do them until we went over them in class. For example, tracking my spending made a HUGE difference in how I now spend money. Also, the exercises in the beginning when we explored our relationships with money - I discovered I'm a carefree, spirited, impulsive spender. It helps to put a name on things.

After accruing thousands of dollars in debt from student loans from when I was an undergraduate, I was determined to do all I could to stay out of debt for when I continued my education. The IDA really helped. I feel so much better prepared to build equity and save for my future. Thanks, Alternatives!


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