MetroCASH

More than 138,000 friends and neighbors in our region live below the poverty line and more than one in four residents struggle to make ends meet.

United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg works to empower families and individuals and promote financial well-being across the region and build the capacity of organizations to achieve wealth equity in our community.

MetroCASH is an IRS-sponsored local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program that promotes financial well-being, one of United Way’s nine Steps to Success. MetroCASH provides free tax assistance for low- to moderate-income families and individuals. Our team of staff and volunteers prepare income tax returns for qualifying families and individuals and advocate for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Our work ensures that tax returns are accurate and everyone receives their full refund and avoids unclaimed tax credits, fees for tax preparation services and refund anticipation loans.

We host many tax sites throughout the Greater Richmond and Petersburg region, all with a range of operating hours between February and April 15th, which ensures everyone will be able to find a time and a place that they can receive free tax assistance.

Partners

  • Capital One

  • Internal Revenue Service VITA Grant

  • More information about Tax Site Partners coming soon!

Thank you for your interest in becoming a MetroCASH volunteer!

No prior knowledge or experience is necessary to volunteer; there are a variety of roles available to match your skills and interests.

Getting involved with MetroCASH is easy – follow our steps below.

  1. Attend a volunteer meet and greet information session
  2. Choose a volunteer role
    • VITA sites need different volunteer roles filled to ensure the best help is provided.
  3. Sign up for training
    • You will be trained by IRS-certified tax instructors and receive IRS training materials.
  4. Pass certifications tests
    • Create a Link and Learn account here.
  5. Return signed volunteer standards of conduct agreement
  6. Complete the volunteer information form
  7. Sign up for volunteer shifts

Greeter/Screener

Set a good tone

Do you want to ensure that everyone feels welcome in our tax assistance sites? Greeter/Screeners are the first point of contact for clients entering a MetroCASH site. You will ensure that clients have the necessary documents and direct them through the intake process. This role is crucial to ensuring a smooth and efficient flow.

  • Training: Optional Greeter/Screener training.
  • Certification: Must pass Intake/Interview & Quality Review exam and Volunteer Standards of Conduct exam.

Interpreter

Translate for non-English speaking clients

Volunteers in this role provide free interpretation services to clients who are not fluent in English. Basic tax knowledge is helpful for interpreting some financial jargon, but not required.

  • Training: None
  • Certification: Must pass Intake/Interview & Quality Review exam and Volunteer Standards of Conduct exam.

Tax Preparer

Do the clients’ taxes

Tax Preparer is the most vital volunteer role at any of our community-based tax sites. You will directly provide free tax preparation services to MetroCASH clients using IRS-approved online software.

  • Training: May either attend a MetroCASH tax preparation training or use training materials available on the IRS website.
  • Certification: VITA Basic certification is required. Must pass Intake/Interview & Quality Review exam and Volunteer Standards of Conduct Exam.

Quality Reviewer

Double-check returns

All tax returns prepared at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites, including MetroCASH locations, must be reviewed for optimal quality before filing. Quality Reviewers look over completed returns to ensure they are accurate and most advantageous to the taxpayer.

  • Training: May either attend a MetroCASH tax preparation training or use training materials available on the IRS website.
  • Certification: VITA Advanced certification is required. Must pass Intake/Interview & Quality Review exam and Volunteer Standards of Conduct Exam.

Assisted Self-Tax Preparation (ASTP) Coach

Help the clients do their taxes

If you would rather help a client learn how to complete their own tax return than prepare it for them, you could volunteer as an ASTP Coach. Volunteers in this role guide eligible individuals through the process of preparing and filing their own returns through a free online service and answer any questions they may have.

  • Training: May either attend a MetroCASH tax preparation training or use training materials available on the IRS website.
  • Certification: VITA Basic certification is required. Must pass Intake/Interview & Quality Review exam and Volunteer Standards of Conduct Exam.

CASH Coach

Provide financial resources

CASH stands for Creating Assets, Savings and Hope. CASH Coaches do that by connecting clients with important financial resources available in their communities. These volunteers promote products and services that encourage saving techniques and financial stability, as well as advocating for the financial and human service needs of clients.

  • Training: Attend a short CASH Coach training.
  • Certification: Must pass Volunteer Standards of Conduct exam.

Technology Support Specialist/Set-Up & Take-Down Aide

Work with equipment, not taxes

Tech Support Specialists address equipment and software-related issues at a tax site. For those with less tech experience, volunteers in this role may also help with setting up sites before opening and/or packing up after close.

  • Training: None
  • Certification: None

Are you a volunteer and need some resources from our training session? Check below for any resources you might need.

TaxSlayer Practice Lab
  • Click here and use the generic password TRAINPROWEB to gain access to the lab and create an account.
VITA Volunteer Resources
Other Resources

MetroCASH provides free tax assistance for low- to moderate-income families and individuals. Our work ensures that everyone can easily claim the highest possible tax refund while avoiding unnecessary expenses. Learn more below about which tax preparation option will work best for you.

Do I qualify?

If your household income is $54,000 or less, you are eligible for free income tax preparation through a VITA site.

Who does my taxes and where do I go?

Your taxes will be prepared by IRS-certified volunteers. Each return is screened by a Quality Reviewer on site to ensure accuracy.

We have many tax sites located across the Greater Richmond & Petersburg region, with a variety of operating hours to ensure everybody has the opportunity to receive help.

What do I bring?
Personal Information (bring all documents)
  • Valid Picture ID
  • Taxpayer Identification Number: Social Security Card, Social Security Number verification letter, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
Proof of Income (bring all documents that apply)
  • W-2s for all jobs last year
  • 1099s for any other income received last year
  • Statements for prizes, scholarships/fellowships or lottery/gambling winnings
Proof of Health Insurance (bring all documents that apply)
  • 1095-A if you had coverage through the HealthCare.gov (Obamacare)
  • 1095-B or 1095-C if you had other kinds of insurance or coverage
Additional Items (bring all documents that apply)
  • Checking and Savings Account Information to have your refund directly deposited to your account
  • Tax Return from last year, if available
  • Child Care Expenses: Provider’s address and federal tax ID number
  • Homeowners: Mortgage statements and property tax bills
  • Education: College tuition and student loan statements
  • Alimony: Paid or received
  • Notices: IRS, state tax, health insurance marketplace or anything that says “IMPORTANT TAX DOCUMENT”

Please have all documents ready at the time of your visit.

File your taxes online and for free.

Do I qualify?

If your household income was $66,000 or less in 2017 you qualify

What do I need?
  • Social Security or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for each family member and working adult
  • W-2s, 1099s, 1098s and other income forms
  • 1095-A if you received a tax credit from the HealthCare.gov (Obamacare)
  • Bank routing and account numbers for checking or savings account
  • Childcare provider name, address and tax ID, is applicable
  • Last year’s tax return, if you have it
  • A valid email address
How it works:
  • Gather all forms
  • Head to MyFreeTaxes.com, powered by H&R Block
  • File your taxes on your own time. 80% of MyFreeTaxes users file taxes in under an hour, meaning your time won’t be wasted

If you have questions while using MyFreeTaxes please call 1-855-698-9435 to speak to an IRS-certified tax preparer.

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a tax benefit for working people. The EITC can help cover any federal income tax workers may owe at tax time. Workers earning lower wages may also get cash back through the EITC refund. Eligible workers who claim the EITC on their tax return can receive a refund even if they do not have a filing requirement. Learn more about the EITC here and see if you are eligible.

Get your free credit report here: Free Credit Report

Tax season 2018 is right around the corner.

Check back soon for a calendar and map of our 2018 MetroCASH sites.

Thank you for your interest in MetroCASH.

For information about MetroCASH, please contact:

Cara Cardotti
THRIVE Collaborative Manager & MetroCASH Program Director
(804) 775-6433
cardottic@yourunitedway.org