Financial Opportunity Center

About

Every individual has a unique situation and the ability to build financial stability and self-sufficiency. Our Financial Opportunity Center offers the tools to help you achieve your financial goals. Improving credit, paying off student loans, working to own a home and planning for retirement are some of the many topics covered in our no-cost training for our community.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

Prepare your 2020 taxes for free through Goodwill’s “Virtual” VITA Tax Center

VITA tax logo

Goodwill has partnered with Associated Ministries and Code for America  to provide free assistance with filing personal and small business Federal Income Taxes through our “virtual” VITA Tax Center.  Our trained staff and community volunteers will assist you with completing any necessary forms and file your completed taxes electronically. You may also use this service to file past tax returns for tax years 2017, 2018 and 2019.

You may be eligible for a refund, or Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC is the largest benefit for workers and one of the two most effective anti-poverty programs in the United States, along with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). However, one in five eligible households aren’t claiming the EITC benefit.

In 2020, we were able to assist many local residents with filing their 2019 Federal Income Taxes through our center.

  • 492 tax returns filed
  • 42 of those returns were for self-employed taxpayers
  • $906,437 total refunds
  • $87,655 estimated total preparation fees saved

Choose an option that is right for you

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are unable to hold any in-person appointments this year.

Tax Return Prepared by an IRS Certified VITA Volunteer Tax Preparer:

Available through April 12

  • Complete the virtual tax intake form at getyourrefund.org
  • Verify your identity – submit a copy or photo of a valid ID & a “selfie” of you holding your photo ID
  • Submit a copy or photo of the SSA or ITIN cards, or acceptable substitution, for everyone who will be included on your tax return including yourself.
  • Submit a copy or photo of all your tax documents such as W2s, 1099s, daycare expenses, etc.
    • Documents can be uploaded as a photo (.jpeg or .png) or as a document (PDF).
    • If any document is unreadable, you will be asked to resubmit the document via a unique URL that is sent with the resubmit request, this unique URL connects directly to your tax return intake.
  • You’ll be contacted within three business days for an intake interview with a VITA Tax Preparer. After your intake, your tax return will be completed within three business days. You will then be contacted for a final exit interview with a VITA Quality Reviewer (QR)
  • You will digitally sign your tax return and then we will e-file your return and give you an electronic copy.

Do-It-Yourself:

Complete your taxes at getyourrefund.org using their easy-to-follow online form.

  • Follow the prompts that will ask multiple-choice questions.
  • If you need assistance while completing the form:
    • Use the toll-free number provided on the form
    • Contact a VITA volunteer via email or or 253-573-6750.
  • You still have the option to have your tax return prepared for you at any time by a VITA volunteer.

VITA Program FAQs

Identification
– Required: Social Security Card or ITIN letter for ALL family members
– Required: Photo ID for primary taxpayer (& spouse, if married)
– Your spouse, if married filing jointly
– Bank account information for direct deposit
Income and Benefits
– W-2 form for each job worked
– 1099 forms for other income (interest, dividends, unemployment, SSA, retirement, 1099-Misc., etc.)
– Form 1095A if you purchased health insurance through WA Healthplanfinder or Healthcare.gov
– Information about any Economic Impact (stimulus) payments you received
Expenses
– Childcare expenses and provider name, address and tax ID number
– Mortgage and real estate taxes if you own a home
– Higher education expenses
– Business expenses, if self-employed

This program is available for households with an annual income under $57,000, including those that are self-employed.

Q: Will I get faster service if I go to an in person site or go to http://www.getyourrefund.org/gworr-site?
A: For the 2020 tax year getyourrefund.org will have a faster service time then the in-person sites
Q: Will I still be able to have my taxes prepared for me if I use the online service www.getyourrefund.org/gworr-site?
A: Yes, our online service gives you the option to have your taxes prepared for you or to file yourself.
Q: How do I get my tax documents like my W2 to the tax preparer if I choose this option?
A: With the online option, you can upload your documents from your computer, laptop or tablet. You can also take pictures of them using a smart phone and upload them that way.
Q: Will someone contact me if I choose to have a tax preparer assist me?
A: Yes, you will be contacted within 3 business days of completing your intake for a phone interview then once your return is complete you will be contacted again for a final interview to go through your completed tax return, digitally sign and get your copy, then we will file for you!
Q: If I choose to file my taxes by myself, will I be able to ask questions if I do not understand something?
A: Yes, once you start the do it yourself option, you will have access to a 1-800 phone line you can call anytime with questions. You can also email TaxHelp@goodwillwa.org with questions.
Q: Do you assist taxpayers who are self-employed?
A: Yes, as long as you are do not have any employees or business losses over $10,000 we can assist in preparing your tax returns with a Sch. C, you will need to have your annual income and business expenses already added up, our sites do not assist with creating your ledger for you. For business expenses you can deduct, go to https://www.irs.gov/publications/p535
Q: Do I need to know how much I received in Stimulus payments?
A: Yes, as part of your tax return, the IRS asks how much you received in stimulus payments.
Q: What if I did not get my stimulus payment? Can I claim my payments on my 2020 tax return?
A: Yes, if you did not receive your first or second stimulus payments or you did not receive the full payment, you can claim it on your 2020 tax return. Note, the IRS will take longer to process your tax return and your refund will be delayed.
Q: Do you need to file? Can I claim a dependent?
A: For tax law questions like this, please use the IRS interactive tax assistant tool at https://www.irs.gov/help/ita for all other information, visit the IRS FAQ page at https://www.irs.gov/faqs

VITA Partners

associated ministries logo
United Way logo
aarp logo

Personal Finances - NEW!

Are your personal finances where you’d like them to be? If you’re experiencing mounting credit card debt, school loans, bad credit or even job loss, Goodwill’s Personal Finances program can help you gain the skills to obtain financial freedom and build a more stable future.

This class is currently available online only though our Goodwill Connect Digital Work Opportunity Center
To register:

TEXT

“FOC register” to

56512

FOLLOW

the prompts to register and begin taking each course

LINK

to the full instructions are at the bottom of the program page

What You'll Learn

Goal Setting

is an important part of success, whether you are aspiring to reach objectives at school, at work, or in your personal life.

Creating a Budget or Spending Plan

is a valuable planning tool that helps you keep track of how you spend your money.

Increase Your Credit IQ

Find out about credit cards, interest rates and the benefits of good credit and tips on negotiating with creditors. Find out how to obtain, read and increase your credit score.

Learn Your Debt to Income Ratio

and how you can overcome it. Find out about credit consolidation and bankruptcy options that may or may not be for you.

Banking Basics

Learn about the different types of bank accounts, bank transactions, ATMs and how to overcome past banking problems.

Invest in Yourself

Learn about savings, retirement accounts, investing options and how to avoid investment scams!

Comparative Shopping Tips

sales tax expertise, and how to be a savvy online shopper! What to look for when buying a car, finding a home to rent or buy.

Key to Change

Service temporarily closed

A free course in money management designed to build personal financial stability and independence.

Key to Change is a 10-hour financial literacy course designed to give you the skills you need to make sound financial decisions for yourself and your family.
Topics include:

  • Banking basics
  • Budgeting
  • Debt management
  • Investing

Service temporarily closed

What You'll Learn

Banking Basics

Learn about the different types of bank accounts, bank transactions, ATMs and how to overcome past banking problems. Also, how to organize your finances and protect yourself from identity theft.

Goal Setting

Identifying your goals is the first step to financial planning and making your dreams a reality. Discover why you spend money the way you do.

Create a Spending Plan

Identify your expense-to-income ratio, create your spending plan, and answer the question: What’s in it for me?

Your Credit Report

Get a free copy of your credit report, understand how your credit score is calculated and who sees it. Learn strategies to improve your score.

Insurance Planning

Everything you need to know about insurance “language,” getting the best deal, and factors that affect rates.

Investing in Yourself

Learn about savings, retirement accounts and investing 101.

Credit & Borrowing Money

Find out about credit cards, interest rates and the benefits of good credit and tips on negotiating with creditors. Learn more about home ownership and how to avoid predatory lending.

Host your own financial education classes

Opportunities available for groups (8+ people), for more information call (253) 573-6709 or email.

Schedule

FIRST Monday – Thursday of EACH MONTH

Morning Sessions: 10:00am – 12:30pm

Evening Sessions: 5:00pm – 7:30pm

Sessions are interchangeable but attendance of 1 session on all 4 days is required for course certificate.

Are you a Tacoma Public Utilities customer?

You may qualify for bill pay assistance by attending Goodwill’s Key to Change program.

Pre-registration is required to participate.

Partners

United Way logo