tax preparation

United Way's VITA Extension and Financial Coaching

VITA Services are extended!


The United Way VITA (Volunteer Income tax Assistance Program) program has reopened their services until August 30, 2019. What does this mean for you? It means if you haven’t filed your 2018 taxes yet or if you need to file an amended return, you can do it! Maybe you filed 2018 but have not filed 2017 or 2016, VITA can help. If you received a letter from the IRS and need help responding to it, they can also help with that. At WHP, we have people who didn’t reconcile their tax credits either because they didn’t know they were supposed to or their tax preparer didn’t understand the forms. If you didn’t reconcile your tax credits, you need to file an amended return. If you need help with the Homestead Property Tax Credit, they can also help with that.

You still need to meet the same requirements for the regular VITA help.

  • income below $54,000 (single or joint)

  • need to have necessary documents to complete a return (e.g. W-s2, 1099s, etc.)

  • must provide photo identification and federal document with SSN visible


Since you are reading this online, you have access to a computer and can schedule your appointment online. That is the best way to schedule an appointment. Click here. You will also need to bring all the documents listed here. Some documents may not be relevant to your situation but if you aren’t sure, bring anything you think would be useful. If you have questions before your appointment, call 734-677-7235.

myfreetaxes.png is free to anyone whose income is below $66,000. You can file an extension through MyFreeTaxes and finish filing by October 15, 2019. If you owe taxes, the IRS may charge you interest.

Financial Coaching at United Way

In addition to free tax help, United Way staff also provide another financial stability resource, One-on-One Financial Coaching. This service helps people eliminate or reduce debt, improve credit scores and save more money. Answer the questions below to determine if their service is a good fit for you.

Is financial coaching right for you.png

There is a good list of financial resources on their website. Check it out! Here is the flyer you can print out for VITA extended services.

Filing taxes and managing your money are important and your healthcare may depend on being financially responsible and knowledgeable.

United Way of Washtenaw County is located at 2305 Platt Rd. Ann Arbor, MI 48104. You can call 734-971-8200 or email

As always, if you have questions call us at the Washtenaw Health Plan. 734-544-3030 #WeHelpPeople

Ask a question in the comments and we will answer it right away!

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Tax Day Is Coming! Here's What You Need

April 15th falls on a Sunday, and Washington DC celebrates Emancipation Day (the day Lincoln freed the slaves) on Monday, April 16th so Tax Day is Tuesday, April 17, 2018. 

April 15th falls on a Sunday, and Washington DC celebrates Emancipation Day (the day Lincoln freed the slaves) on Monday, April 16th so Tax Day is Tuesday, April 17, 2018. 

In 2017, you were required to have insurance all year unless you qualified for an exemption. You might have gotten your insurance from an employer, from public insurance (Medicaid, Medicare, VA coverage), or from private insurance (purchased separately or from the Marketplace). And now your 2017 taxes are due. Don't get confused, get organized!


Forms, Forms, Forms...

If you got insurance from an employer or public insurance, you should have gotten 1095-B or 1095-C forms from them. You can file your taxes without those forms, though, because they are also reporting to the IRS.

If you got insurance through the Marketplace, you need the 1095-A form. You can find that online in your account. With the information you have on the 1095-A form, you can reconcile your tax credits, which you do using IRS Form 8962.

Find out more about how to reconcile tax credits with this handy explanation.

If you got private insurance without tax credits, your insurer should have your 1095-A, and you don't file for tax credits. You still have to submit the 1095-A as proof you had insurance.


I Didn't Have Insurance. Can I Get An Exemption?

If you didn't have insurance for the whole year, you might have qualified for an exemption. Common exemptions would be: 

  • you were uncovered for less than 3 months (perhaps you moved or switched jobs)
  • cost of insurance for the household was more than 8% of your income and was unaffordable
  • your income is below the tax-filing threshold 
  • you were living out of the country for all or part of the year.

There are other exemptions, too. You file for an exemption using IRS Form 8965. Find out more below. 


No Exemption?  No Insurance?  Pay a penalty.

If you don't qualify for an exemption, and you didn't have insurance, you might need to pay a penalty. For the 2017 plan year, the fee is calculated 2 different ways — as a percentage of your yearly household income, and per person. You’ll pay whichever is higher.

1. Percentage of income: 2.5% of yearly household income. The maximum is the total yearly premium for the national average price of a Bronze plan sold through the Marketplace.


2. Per person per year: $695 per adult or $347.50 per child under 18. The maximum is $2,085 per household. 


A Household Is Made Up Of Individuals


NOTE: Think about each person in the household separately! In some cases, you may have one person on the Marketplace or with employer insurance, one person with an exemption based on affordability, and a child on Medicaid or MIChild.

If you finish your taxes, you realize you will owe some money, and you don't want that to happen again, come visit us at 555 Towner, Ypsilanti, MI M-F 9-4 p.m., or call us at 734-544-3030, for a free consultation.

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