Highlights from Tax Season 2024 - United Ways of California

Highlights from Tax Season 2024

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Read time: 3 minutes

While the deadline to pay taxes isn’t quite past for some in the state—San Diego County residents have until mid-June to file their tax returns—and there’s still time to file for those who would get a refund, most Californians who owe taxes have filed their 2023 tax returns by now. 

So what did our statewide free tax help network see this year? 

This tax season has been busier than ever, with more people wanting the opportunity to maximize their refund and file for free. About 13,000 more appointments have been booked through our website than last year! We’ll share more about this tax season’s impact in the coming months, but here is a quick snapshot and some high-level insights into why this work is so important. 

So far this year:

  • 20,543 tax returns have been filed through our self-filing option 
  • 4,220 tax returns have been filed virtually with help
  • 25,699 tax returns have been filed through in-person help
Community Voices on VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Free Tax Help This Year

I’m very thankful to VITA for helping us for free. I’m a single parent and always short on money. Getting this done for free helps a lot. There are no words to describe how grateful I am for this and other programs that have helped me through my difficulties.” 

— Angelica from Ventura County

VITA services are an amazing benefit to my community. They help people who are unable to pay out of pocket for their taxes to get filed. I am impressed by the level of professionalism that these volunteers have. They are very helpful and thorough. The volunteers are also bilingual which is a big plus. I am happy these services are available. I recommend this service to everyone.” 

— Damaris from Kern County

Filing taxes has always given me major anxiety. I liked that I could take my documents to VITA and confidently have my taxes prepared and explained to me in simple layman’s terms. I walked out that day knowing whether I would get a refund or have to pay. I appreciated the time and effort the volunteers put in to make this service available.” 

— Dawyne from San Diego County

I am a senior on a fixed income, so the service that VITA provides is extremely helpful and helps me meet my financial obligations.

— Deborah from Fresno County

I am low income and can’t afford to pay to have my taxes done. VITA is very helpful. They answer your questions and are fast and efficient. I have never had a problem doing my taxes through them. I plan to spend my refund paying bills and hopefully putting a down payment on my Aunt’s headstone.” 

— Laura from Shasta County

Local Snapshot: United Way of Stanislaus County Gives High School Students Hands-on Experience

This tax season, local high school students partnered with United Way of Stanislaus County to provide free tax prep. Students in Downey High School’s marketing career and technical education class and Future Business Leaders of America group received the VITA-standard IRS certification and helped more than 100 community members file their taxes for free—all while learning valuable life skills. As a bonus, the students got to practice their public speaking skills when they were interviewed for the Modesto Bee, KQED, and KTXL!

For those who didn’t owe taxes and haven’t submitted their returns yet, our VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) programs are still available to help claim refunds or any missed stimulus payments. We highly recommend using our virtual option for the best convenience and availability, though some in-person sites will still be available. 

Do you want to support VITA’s future? Let elected officials know that free tax preparation and outreach is important to you, or sign up to become a volunteer next tax season!

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