Free Tax Help Available in Bay Area; Use Our Interactive Map


Hundreds of volunteers are being deployed throughout the San Francisco Bay area to help the region’s poorest tax payers prepare their taxes this year, thanks to regional United Way agencies, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and local nonprofits and businesses.

The tax help for those making less than $50,000 a year is available at 200 locations. Below is an interactive map created by Good Neighbor Stories showing locations in Santa Clara County. Clicking on the map links to a page that includes a full list on the left-hand side of the page.

According to the Earn it!Keep It! Save It! program led by United Way of the Bay Area, less than five percent of those eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) are not taking advantage of the free tax preparation. Many turn to commercial tax preparers paying between $150 and $300, which officials estimate costs $2.2 million annually in the Bay Area alone.

“Unfortunately, thousands of low-income taxpayers are not taking advantage of our free, expert tax preparation,” said Kelly Batson, director of Earn It! Keep It! Save It! “We’re urging these families to hold onto the money that they have worked so hard to earn and come into one of 200 Bay Area sites where they can also connect with dozens of asset-building resources.”

Last year the program helped 60,000 residents claim $63.8 million in refunds and $22 million in EITC. The EITC is a refundable tax credit that reduces or eliminates the taxes paid by low-income working people.

“Low-income taxpayers can receive their refunds—every cent—in just about a week if they go to one of the Earn It! Keep It! Save It! sites and have their refund direct deposited, where their tax returns are transmitted electronically to the IRS using eFile,” Batson said.

The IRS provides volunteers through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE). The Earn It! Save It! Keep It! program operates in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo and Solano counties, with the participation of more than 250 public and private-sector partners.

View Free Tax Help in Santa Clara County 2012 in a larger map


  1. Maria Stokes says:

    Thanks for helping spread the word about our program.

    People who are interested in getting free tax help should call 211 to find the site near them. To qualify, household income for 2011 must be $50,000 or less.

  2. Pam Marino says:

    You are welcome, Maria. Thank you for the reminder to call 211.