CA Controller Calls for Volunteers for Free Tax Preparation Program

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Public Affairs Office

For Immediate Release


Sacramento — State Controller and FTB Chair Betty T. Yee today called upon Californians to become certified to help low-income people file tax returns free of charge as part of the Voluntary Income Tax Assistance program. The VITA program will be particularly important in the coming year as California rolls out its version of the Earned Income Tax Credit, designed to boost the income of low-earning households.

“This is a tremendous chance for people to make a real difference in their communities,” Controller Yee said. “This new state credit is designed to tackle deep poverty and help deliver some financial security to California families.”

VITA volunteers receive about 40 hours of free training on basic federal and state tax preparation from the IRS and FTB. VITA relies on a virtual army of volunteers to prepare returns at no cost. Last year, nearly 11,000 VITA volunteers prepared approximately 580,000 federal and state tax returns at nearly 1,000 tax sites across California. No previous experience is required.

For more information, visit FTB’s VITA page at

The VITA program already helps people claim the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, the model for the state credit. The California version, funding for which is included in the Fiscal Year 2015-16 state budget, provides up to $2,600 to qualified claimants. The state credit will benefit about 600,000 taxpayers and their families.

FTB administers two of California's major tax programs: Personal Income Tax and the Corporation Tax. FTB also administers other non tax programs and delinquent debt collection functions, including delinquent vehicle registration debt collections on behalf of the Department of Motor Vehicles, and court–ordered debt. Annually, FTB’s tax programs collect more than 65 percent of the state’s general fund. For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit

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