Tax Assistance

GET TAX ASSISTANCE

Don’t leave money on the table! Now more than ever, it pays to file your taxes.  Changes to the tax law mean that you may miss out on tax credits on the table if you don’t file. 

CHILD TAX CREDIT

If you have children under 18 in your home, you should be receiving monthly cash payments that began in July 2021 through the new Child Tax Credit. But you must file taxes in 2022 to receive the second half of your credit!

If you didn’t receive your monthly payments, it’s not too late to claim your Child Tax Credit!  You may be eligible even if you are not the child’s biological parent, do not usually file taxes or have low/no earnings. 

HOW MUCH WILL MY FAMILY GET FROM THE CHILD TAX CREDIT?

Through the new Child Tax Credit, families are eligible to receive up to $3,600 for each child in their care under the age of 6 and up to $3,000 per year for children ages 6 to 17.

  • The first half was paid out in regular monthly payments from July through December 2021. Families received $300 per month, per child younger than age 6 and $250 per month, per child age 6 to 17.
  • To receive the second half of the credit, families must file taxes in 2022.
  • Missed out on the monthly payments?  It’s not too late. Families who did not receive their monthly payments in 2021 can still claim the entire credit by filing taxes in 2022. 

The total benefit payment is based on the family’s income and number of children. The Child Tax Credit does not count as income for federally-funded benefits, including SNAP. 

UNDER AGE 6 - Up To $3,600 Total Possible Benefit Per Child

$300 per month per child from July – December 2021, totaling up to $1,800 in 6 months for the first half of the payment

plus

$1,800 per child in a one-time payment after filing taxes in 2022.

AGES 6 TO 17 - Up To $3,000 Total Possible Benefit Per Child

$250 per month per child from July – December 2021, totaling up to $1,500 in 6 months for the first half of the payment

plus

$1,500 per child in a one-time payment after filing taxes in 2022.

AM I ELIGIBLE FOR THE CHILD TAX CREDIT?

You qualify for the Child Tax Credit if you meet these three criteria.

  • You are a parent, guardian or caregiver with dependent children up to age 17.
  • Your child has a Social Security Number. You can file your taxes with an ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number), but your child must have a Social Security Number.
  • You fall below the following income limits to receive the full benefit.
    • If you are single and meet the requirements for filing taxes as a head of household, your income must be under $112,500. If you are single and do not meet the requirements for filing as head of household, your income must be under $75,000.
    • If you have a spouse and choose to file your taxes jointly, your combined income must be under $150,000.

If your household income is above those thresholds, you will receive slightly smaller payments, depending on income.

If you have children under 18 in your home, you should have received the first half of your child tax credit in monthly cash payments between July and December 2021. To receive the second half of your credit, file taxes in 2022!

Didn’t receive your monthly payments? It’s not too late to claim your Child Tax Credit! You may be eligible even if you are not the child’s biological parent or if you do not usually file taxes or have low/no earnings. To claim your credit, file taxes in 2022!

EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT

If you worked at all in 2021, you may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit.  The Earned Income Tax Credit provides extra income to workers with low to moderate incomes, up to $57,000.  Changes to the tax law mean that more workers are eligible now than ever before! 

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) provides a tax credit to working people with low to moderate income.  Qualifying individuals receive a cash lump-sum payment (via direct deposit or paper check) at tax time.  This year, changes to EITC eligibility rules mean more people qualify than before.  Specifically, the income limits and amount of the credit have increased significantly for individuals and married couples without children. 

To claim your credit, you must file a tax return, even if you do not owe any tax or are not otherwise required to file. If you worked full or part time in 2021, you may qualify for the credit.   

WHO QUALIFIES? 

You must have earned income (from working) in 2021 to qualify. The income limit to qualify and the amount of the credit varies depending on your tax filing status and number of children in your household. The table below shows the combined federal and state of Michigan EITC credit amount for each situation.

EITC Qualifying Chart

Qualifying children can include your biological children, adopted children, grandchildren, younger siblings, and nieces and nephews. To qualify, children must live with you at least half of the year and be under age 19, be under 24 and a full time student, or be permanently disabled.

You can’t get your payments if you don’t file your taxes. File for free now. 

More Information About Muskegon, Newaygo, & Oceana Tax Programs:

Don't pay to file your simple taxes!

2022 Season Updates

United Way Worldwide has been hard at work redesigning a new and improved MyFreeTaxes for 2022. You’ll see a number of changes roll out in the coming weeks, which will enable us to better serve our users and partners. These changes include:

  • A new client flow that ensures all site visitors get connected to the free tax filing option that meets their needs, whether that means accessing DIY Facilitated Self Assistance software or referral to full-service VITA programs
  • A new Tax Time Financial Checklist page, which will help users improve their overall financial situation by connecting them to important financial products and services, including accessible and affordable bank accounts, a student debt fintech platform that will help users resolve student debt challenges and adjust their payment plans to save money, and engage 211 to connect with a financial counseling program
  • A new software product (TaxSlayer FSA Remote) for MyFreeTaxes users who want to file taxes themselves, ensuring we connect MyFreeTaxes FSA filers to an entirely free product offering, with no option for in-product upgrades or fees. This will also ensure we support more forms (including Schedule C) and that there is no income limit!

These changes were developed thanks to the input from dedicated partners and stakeholders such as yourself. Thank you for your ongoing investment and support as we work together to build a free, accessible, and impactful MyFreeTaxes product.

Please email partners@myfreetaxes.com if you have any questions.

Please note, the rest of the Partner Portal is in the process of being updated to reflect these changes. The FAQ is up to date, and the promotional materials will be completed in the coming days.


What makes MyFreeTaxes Unique from other Products?

  • MyFreeTaxes is the largest free tax preparation service operated by a nonprofit. 
  • MyFreeTaxes has no income limit or age restrictions and supports unlimited state returns. It is free for all filers, with no option for paid add-ons or fees.

Top 10 things you should know about MyFreeTaxes 

  1. Anyone of any income can file their simple returns online for free on MyFreeTaxes.com.
  2. 80% of filers finish their taxes in less than 1 hour!
  3. Filers save an average of $200 in fees by using MyFreeTaxes instead of a paid tax preparer.
  4. Our tax filing software guarantees 100% accurate returns, maximum refund, and top of the line security.
  5. MyFreeTaxes is mobile optimized, so the taxpayer can file seamlessly between their phone, tablet, or computer. The program includes a refund reveal during the entire filing process so the taxpayer can see any changes throughout the process. 
  6. The MyFreeTaxes Helpline is staffed by IRS-certified 211 call specialists who are available to answer questions and help filers complete their return accurately.
  7. Your organization does not need to do VITA to promote MyFreeTaxes, however, if you do run VITA and have a VITA grant, United Way Worldwide partners with the IRS so that every MyFreeTaxes filer in your geography will count towards your VITA goals.
  8. Our Tax Time Financial Checklist page helps filers improve their overall financial situation by connecting them to important financial products and services, including: accessible and affordable bank accounts, a student debt fintech platform that will help users resolve student debt challenges and adjust their payment plans to save money and engage 211 to connect with a financial counseling program. 
  9. United Way Worldwide provides weekly data updates throughout the tax season and breaks it out by zip, city, county, state, and United Way service area. You CANNOT use this data for promotional efforts. 
  10. United Way has offered MyFreeTaxes for 12 years!

MyFreeTaxes is FREE for all simple returns.   

  • Users can file simple federal and up to three simple state returns for free. 
  • Simple tax situations covered for free in MyFreeTaxes include: W-2 income; limited interest and dividend income reported on a 1099-INT or 1099-DIV; student education expenses, credits or student loan interest; unemployment income; claiming the standard deduction; EITC; child tax credits; child and dependent care expenses.
  • Unfortunately, MyFreeTaxes no longer provides a free return to filers who are self-employed. Selfemployed filers will need to report all of their income and expenses on a Schedule C form, which is not included in the MyFreeTaxes software.
    • If you are self-employed, and wish to use MyFreeTaxes to file your taxes, you will only be charged $24.99 for a federal return and $18.50 for each state return (a 50% discount).
  • You can easily file your taxes using MyFreeTaxes.com from your mobile phone, tablet or computer. It’s easy to use; just upload a picture of your W-2 to autofill your information. It guides you through the process to guarantee you get your maximum refund. 
  • Most filers complete their taxes in under one hour and save an average of $200 in fees by using MyFreeTaxes instead of a paid tax preparer.  

How does this work?

Bring your tax documents to your scheduled VITA appointment. An IRS trained and certified volunteer will complete and electronically file all federal and state tax returns and forms before you leave.
If you are required or qualify to file a city tax return, it will be prepared for you to drop off or mail in to the appropriate recipient.

Am I eligible?

Singles or married couples (with or without children) with incomes below $60,000 are eligible for the In-Person service.

Is this service right for me?

Have a friendly and efficient certified volunteer prepare your tax refund. It is very easy and has minimal contact for the client and the volunteer. At your scheduled appointment, you will submit your documents and information and answer any questions the Volunteer Preparer may have.

Where and when are appointments?

GOODWILL INDUSTRIES OF WEST MICHIGAN 

271 East Apple Avenue, Muskegon, MI 49442
Appointment Times: Tuesday and Thursday: 9am – noon and 1 – 4pm
Appointment Dates: February 1 – April 15

Some Saturday Appointments are available for those who work and need night/weekend times:
Feb 12 and 26, Mar 12 and 26, and April 9:  9 am – 1 pm 

MUSKEGON COMMUNITY COLLEGE

316 W. Webster Ave, Muskegon, MI 49440
Appointment Times: Monday and Wednesday: 10 am – 1 pm and 2 pm – 5 pm
Appointment Dates: February 9 – April 15

HACKLEY PUBLIC LIBRARY

316 W. Webster Ave, Muskegon, MI 49440
Appointment Times: Monday and Wednesday: 10 am – 1 pm and 2 pm – 5 pm
Appointment Dates: February 9 – April 15

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS BRANCH LIBRARY

2808 Sanford St. Muskegon Heights, MI 49444
Appointment Times: Tuesday and Wednesday 10 am – 1 pm and 2 pm – 5 pm
Appointment Dates: February 1 – April 15

EGLESTON BRANCH LIBRARY

5428 E. Apple Ave. Muskegon, MI 49442
Appointment Times: Wednesdays 11:30 am – 4:30 pm
Appointment Dates: February 1– April 15

TRUENORTH COMMUNITY SERVICES

6308 S. Warner Ave, Fremont, MI 49412
Appointment Times: Tuesday 10 am – 1 pm and 2 pm – 5 pm
Appointment Dates: February 9 – April 15

OCCOA (OCEANA COUNCIL ON AGING)

4250 W. Tyler, Hart MI 49420
Appointment Times: Wednesdays 9:30 pm – 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Appointment Dates: February 2 – April 15

What do I have to do?

Call 2-1-1 to schedule your In-Person appointment and to verify your eligibility for the tax services. The 211 call specialist will also advise you of the identification, forms and documents (see below) you must bring with you to the VITA appointment in order to have your tax return prepared. 

BOTH spouses MUST be present for a joint return.

You MUST bring:

  • Social Security or ITIN cards for you, your spouse and any dependents.
  • Photo ID for you and your spouse.
  • All income forms: W2, 1099, 1098, SSI, etc.
  • Information from all other income sources.
  • 1095A or other healthcare information.

To ensure you get all your credits and deductions, bring all of the following that apply to you:

  • Copy of last year's tax return, if available.
  • Amount spent on child/dependent care and care provider's name, address, tax ID number.
  • Heating paid in the prior year.
  • If you are a DTE customer, bring the last bill of the prior year.
  • Monthly rent amount and total rent paid in prior year (2021).
  • 2021 summer and winter property tax bills.
  • Bank routing and account numbers (checking or savings) for direct deposit.
  • Information needed for other deductions/credits.

To schedule an In-Person appointment: Call 2-1-1 (or 1-877-211-5253). 

How does this work?

Bring your tax documents to your VITA appointment so we can scan them into our tax software. An IRS trained and certified volunteer will complete and electronically file all federal and state tax returns and forms remotely.

If you are required or qualify to file a city tax return, it will be prepared for you to drop off or mail in to the appropriate recipient.

You will view and sign your tax return electronically.

Am I eligible?

Singles or married couples (with or without children) with incomes below $60,000 are eligible for the Scan N Go service.

Is this service right for me?

If you like quick, efficient, and easy, you will love our Scan N Go service. It is very easy and has minimal contact for the client and the volunteer. At your scheduled 20 minute intake appointment, you will submit your documents and information and answer any questions the Intake Specialist may have. Clients must have a valid and working email address.

Where and when are appointments?

GOODWILL INDUSTRIES OF WEST MICHIGAN 

271 East Apple Avenue, Muskegon, MI 49442
Appointment Times: Friday: 9am – noon and 1 – 4pm
Appointment Dates: February 1 – April 15

TRUE NORTH COMMUNITY SERVICES

508 W. State St., Fremont, MI 49412
Appointment Times: Thursdays 10 am – 1 pm and 2 pm – 5 pm
Appointment Dates: February 9 – April 15

What do I have to do?

Call 2-1-1 to schedule your Scan N Go appointment and to verify your eligibility for the tax services. The 211 call specialist will also advise you of the identification, forms and documents (see below) you must bring with you to the VITA appointment in order to have your tax return prepared. 

BOTH spouses MUST be present for a joint return.

You MUST bring:

  • Social Security or ITIN cards for you, your spouse and any dependents.
  • Photo ID for you and your spouse.
  • All income forms: W2, 1099, 1098, SSI, etc.
  • Information from all other income sources.
  • 1095A or other healthcare information.

To ensure you get all your credits and deductions, bring all of the following that apply to you:

  • Copy of last year's tax return, if available.
  • Amount spent on child/dependent care and care provider's name, address, tax ID number.
  • Heating paid in the prior year.
  • If you are a DTE customer, bring the last bill of the prior year.
  • Monthly rent amount and total rent paid in prior year (2020).
  • 2020 summer and winter property tax bills.
  • Bank routing and account numbers (checking or savings).
  • Information needed for other deductions/credits.

To schedule a Scan N Go appointment: Call 2-1-1 (or 1-877-211-5253).