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Taxpayer Receiving Help

Important Information

Please read through this entire page and view the FAQs prior to visiting the VITA lab. Doing so will help us serve you better.

When visiting the lab, be sure to check-in with the QR code outside the lab (or by clicking here)

Getting your taxes filed for free is easy. To get started, follow each of these steps:

  • We cannot serve you if one or more of the following conditions apply:
    • You do not speak English
    • Your tax return requires an out-of-scope service.
      • Common out-of-scope services include the following:
        • Returns with sales of cryptocurrency (purchases are OK)
        • Amended returns and previous year returns
        • Nonresident returns (Form 1040NR)
        • Form 1042-S (Centro Hispano can help with these: 801-655-0258)

    Please note that our lab is open to everybody, even if you don't have a formal connection with BYU.
  • Note: Digital documents are OK; however, it will make our services go faster if you bring in paper copies of your wage and earning statements (e.g. W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-Misc).

    You must bring the following documents to use our services:
    • Proof of identification (photo ID)
      • Acceptable forms of identification include the following:
        • Valid driver’s license (U.S.)
        • Employer ID
        • School ID
        • State ID (U.S.)
        • Military ID
        • National ID
        • Visa
        • Passport
    • Social Security cards for you, your spouse and dependents
      • Photos of Social Security cards are OK
      • An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter may be substituted for you, your spouse and your dependents if you do not have a Social Security number
    • Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN
    • Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return
    • Wage and earning statements (Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-Misc) from all employers
    • Tax forms related to educational expenses if you are a student (Form 1098-T).
      • Bring Form 1098-T from both 2023 and 2022 (if you have one)
      • If you are a BYU Student, you can download this from My Financial Center.
      • You must also have receipts for textbooks and materials required for your classes if you want to claim them as part of the education credit(s) you qualify for. You do not need to bring these receipts with you, but if the IRS audits your return, they will ask you to procure those receipts for them.
    • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
    • Health Insurance Exemption Certificate, if received
    • A copy of last year's federal and state returns, if available
    • Proof of bank account routing and account numbers for direct deposit, such as a blank check or online banking info
    • To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-jointly tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms
    • Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider's tax identifying number such as their Social Security number or business Employer Identification Number
    • Forms 1095-A, B and C, Health Coverage Statements
    • Copies of income transcripts from IRS and state, if applicable
  • The most common reason for the IRS rejecting tax returns is because both a student claims themselves as an independent and their parent(s)/guardian(s) also claim them as a dependent. The IRS does not allow both to occur. This is important because if you do not file as independent, you are not able to claim education credits for yourself. Doing so is one of the main reasons the IRS might audit you.

    If you are a student and you are unsure of whether or not you can claim yourself as independent for tax purposes, please consult with your parent(s)/guardian(s) BEFORE coming to the VITA lab. You can use this general rule to test your independence:

    Are you as the taxpayer providing more than half of your own support for the tax year? Support is ALL expenses, INCLUDING tuition payments but EXCLUDING scholarships.

    • If you answered yes: you are independent
    • If you answered no: you are not independent, but a dependent of another taxpayer

    If you have any other questions about your filing status, you can use the IRS' filing status tool or ask the person preparing your taxes to help you identify your filing status.
  • We will need printed copies of your W-2s and the intake form. Printing these will save you (and the taxpayers in line behind you) a couple of minutes.

    If you don't intend on printing the intake form, then please don't fill out the pdf. Instead, fill out a yellow paper form that can be found outside the lab.
  • These are common questions you might have before, during, or after you visit the BYU VITA lab. Click here to view the FAQs.
  • Once you have completed all the steps above, you are ready to meet with a volunteer tax preparer to file your taxes. Please note that if your filing status is Married Filing Jointly, both you and your spouse must be present in the VITA lab. Information about our hours, location, and walk-in/appointment instructions are on the home page. We look forward to seeing you! If you have any questions in the meantime, email us at