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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Chris Setlock

In the spring of 2014, we learned that our minivan needed repairs in excess of it's value. We'd already been cutting back on our auto use, and were trying to walk and bike more. We'd been talking with friends and reading about cargo bikes as a car alternative. Around the same time, a new business, "Boxy Bikes" opened in Ithaca, which specializes in electric and cargo bikes. We found a model we were interested in, and approached alternatives seeking financing. Alternatives set us up with a signature loan, and a "green loan" discount on our rate. Thanks to Alternatives, we are now the happy owners of a "Yuba Mundo" Electric Cargo bike. We can get anywhere we need to go, using no gas, and creating no emissions. I can carry two passengers, or a weeks worth of groceries. The loan will be paid off in two years, and the bike could last for many more, at a fraction of the cost of an automobile.


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