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Prepare Your Own Tax Return for Free!​

Work on your own tax return using the link to one of our free filing software options (both federal and state are free).


We’re here to help! If you have questions while you prepare your own return in our software, contact us by emailing us


OLT - OnLine Taxes​

Software limitations​:

  1. AGI limit: $79,000​
  2. Age: Any
  3. Federal & State Return: Free​

Access OLT


Software limitations​:

  1. AGI limit: $79,000​
  2. 2. Age: Any​
  3. 3. Federal & State Return: Free​

Access the web link and guide

Steps You Will Do​


1. Create your own account in the free software.​

2. Start your return by entering in filing status, basic information for self and spouse/dependents (if any).

3. Work on federal tax return, entering in any income, adjustments, deductions, health insurance information.​

4. Prepare your state return.​

5. Finish your return, entering in your bank information if you want direct deposit of any refund or direct debit to pay any amount owed.​

6. E-file your return – You’ll need last year’s AGI amount to file your return.​

7. Check for an email saying your return was accepted by the IRS!​

8. Save a PDF copy of your tax return.


What You Will Need​


 Must have or know your own social security or ITIN number​
 Information for all forms of income: W2s, 1099s, self-employment work, etc., account  statement for Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart etc. (if you worked for them!)​
 Any other tax forms: 1098s, 1095s, etc.​
 Health Coverage Statements: Forms 1095-A, B or C — Note: if you purchased health insurance through Covered CA (which is the CA Marketplace), you must have your 1095-A​
 1098-T and college account statement (if you took classes!)​
 Last year’s tax return (if you have it!)​
 Savings and checking account and routing numbers for direct deposit (in case you get a refund)​
 Letters/notices from the IRS, if any


Common Cases We Cannot Assist With


While you can use the TaxSlayer software specifically to prepare any type of tax return, our volunteers are only trained to assist with fairly basic / straightforward cases as part of the larger IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.​​


We’re not able to assist with cases that include but are not limited to:​


  • Married Filing Separately as the filing status​
  • Cryptocurrency​
  • Rental income (like a rented room, Airbnbs, etc.)​
  • Alternative minimum tax​
  • Schedule C’s that involve business use of home, inventory, depreciation, net losses, total expenses over $35k​

FAQ: Frequently asked questions

I’ve never prepared my return before. Is this for me?  

Yes! The self-preparation options are designed for everyone. No special training or background in finance is required! The user-friendly experience is designed for taxpayers who do not have any specific tax training. If you have questions, reach out via email or you can register for an office hours session to get help with your questions!

Will someone be preparing my return?

Using the self-prep option, you will be preparing your own return through a user-friendly version of the tax software. Our screenshot guide walks you through each step of the process and how to enter your information, family situation, and income. You can also contact us any time with questions by emailing us

I'm not ready to do this. Where are the in-person site options?

We have in-person site options across all 8 Bay Area Counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Solano. You can find a tax site convenient for your location and schedule using the tax site listings on our website or through an interactive searchable map. You can also dial "211" on your phone to get help and real-time support from a trained resource specialist.

  • Apply for or renew your ITIN as soon as possible to avoid delays. They may take up to several months to process. ​
  • You do NOT need to pay to renew or apply for an ITIN if you are using one of our VITA CAA approved sites below. ​
  • If you previously submitted a renewal application and it was approved, you do not need to renew it again.

I make slightly over the income limit. Can I use your software options?

Unfortunately, no. The software automatically denies access to the self-preparation version when your income is above the threshold. In this situation, we recommend you seek out a professional/paid preparer.

You mentioned you can only assist taxpayers with basic questions. What is out-of-scope?

That is correct, there are some complex tax situations that we are unable to provide support for, as part of the IRS VITA program. Some common examples are: rental income (from a single room in your home or an AirBnB), crypto or digital currency transactions, married filing separate filing status, self-employed individuals who manage a storefront with inventory. If you are not sure if your tax situation falls outside of our scope, email to check!