Free Tax Preparation

Through a partnership with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, we are committed to helping our neighbors with low and moderate incomes receive 100% FREE tax preparation support so they can get back their maximum refund and save more of their hard-earned money

In 2017 alone, our VITA volunteers connected 706 local households to tax credits, saving them approximately $144,000 in tax preparation fees and bringing back $1,202,080 in refunds to the community.

This year, qualifying taxpayers can take advantage of this service at two VITA locations — the Bernard W. Brown Community Center in downtown Frederick, the Hillcrest Commons, and the Seton Center in Emmitsburg. The service will be available from Febrary 1 through April 17.

If you earned less than $54,000 in 2017...

... our IRS-certified VITA volunteers will prepare and e-file your taxes completely free of charge at one of our three VITA locations! Appointments are required and you can make yours today by simply dialing 2-1-1, a free line operated by 2-1-1 Maryland. You may also call 866-411-6803. Our free tax preparation service is offered through the Prosperity Center, a partnership between United Way and the Housing Authority of the City of Frederick, and thanks to the support from the MD Cash Campaign and our generous donors.

IMPORTANT: If you're getting free help filing your taxes in person, you will be asked to present photo identification and a Social Security card for each adult in your household. The tax preparation checklist below will help you ensure you have all required documents in advance of your appointment. 

Hours and locations for in-person services are the following:

Bernard W. Brown Community Center

629 N. Market St., Frederick - click for directions

  • Tuesdays:  2 p.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Saturdays: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Hillcrest Community Center

1150 Orchard Terrace, Frederick - click for directions

  • Wednesdays: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Thursdays: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Fridays: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Seton Center

16840 S. Seton Ave., Emmitsburg - click for directions

  • Thursdays: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

If you earned more than $54,000 but less than $66,000...

... we're not leaving you behind! Even though you don't qualify for the in-person service, you can still file your taxes completely free of charge using United Way's free online filing service. Simply visit for access to the H&R Block software that will allow you to prepare and file your federal and state taxes at no cost to you. No filing fees!

Free, unlimited, personalized real-time chat and phone support from IRS-certified operators is available at 1-855-MY-TX-HELP. The helpline, with operators that speak both English and Spanish, operates from January 13 through April 18 from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm EST Monday through Friday, and noon to 9:00 pm EST on Saturdays.

Over the past eight years, has helped 750,000 taxpayers across the country claim every deduction and credit they deserve. And this year, your e-filing be even more secure with new enhanced security features designed to further safeguard taxpayer information.

Are you getting all the tax credits you’re eligible for?

We work to educate eligible residents on the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit which can help working families leverage larger returns.

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable federal income tax credit for low- to moderate-income working individuals and families. In addition to the EITC, some families also can get the Child Tax Credit (CTC), which can be worth up to $1,000 per child. A single person who earned less than $14,800 last year and a family of five that earned less than $53,200 may qualify for a refundable EITC. Low-income seniors may qualify for the Tax Credit for the Elderly. The credits can reduce the amount of income taxes workers owe – but even workers who owe no taxes can qualify for credits. According to the IRS, the average refund was about $2,400 during the 2014 tax season.

Do you know about the EITC tax refund delays?

If you are a taxpayer claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), please read this. For the second year, the IRS will begin releasing your refunds after February 15th. However, the agency cautions taxpayers that these refunds are not likely to start arriving in bank accounts or on debit cards until the week of February 27. To find out more about this important change, please click here.

Click to download the 2018 VITA free tax prep flier

Click here to download the 2018 VITA free tax prep flier in Spanish