Frequently Asked Questions
Please click on the question below for answers.
- What should I bring?
Bring your photo ID, Social Security card or ITIN letter for everyone on your return, and all the documents related to your income and tax-related expenses for the year. Also, bring a copy of last year’s tax return if you have it.
- How much does it cost to get my taxes done at CASH Oregon, an AARP Tax-Aide, or VITA tax site?
Absolutely nothing! We offer FREE preparation and FREE e-filing for both Federal and Oregon returns.
- Who will prepare my taxes?
IRS-Certified Volunteers will prepare your taxes. All of our volunteers must pass yearly exams on ethics, confidentiality, and the most common personal income tax issues. Returns are prepared electronically with error checking software and quality reviewed by a second preparer. An accurate return is our top priority.
- Can I do my own taxes for free online?
You can file your taxes for free online at one of the Self-Prep tax sites on our list of tax sites. At these sites, a volunteer will be available to answer questions while you file your own tax return online. Both Federal and Oregon e-filing will be free if your income is less than $57,000.
If you want to file your taxes for free online by yourself, follow this link. Your Federal and Oregon e-filing will be free if you meet the income guidelines and you start your return using these links.
- When will I receive my refund?
Because we e-file at all of our sites and offer direct deposit, your refund can be in your hands in 21 days or less! Trust us, that’s fast. For those that want to receive a check in the mail, the refund check takes 3-4 weeks.
If you’ve already filed, you can use these tools to track your refund. Please wait 1 week after e-filing to check on your refund, and have your tax return in front of you when you use the tools.
Please note: only current tax year refund information is available on-line.
- What if I don't have my W-2's?
Your employer has until February 1st to get you your W-2. If it’s after February 1, contact your employer and make sure they have your current mailing address. If it’s after February 15, contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.
- What if I have income from a state other than Oregon?
We can only prepare Federal and Oregon tax returns. Washington does not have an individual state tax return.
- How will the Affordable Care Act affect my taxes?
The Affordable Care Act requires all taxpayers to have healthcare coverage. If you obtained coverage through the marketplace, you will need to bring for 1095-A, as well as proof of income for your dependents. You may qualify for an exemption from this requirement. Your tax counselor will work with you to find answers for your specific situation.
- What if I don't have my 1095-A?
If you purchased healthcare coverage through the marketplace, you should receive form 1095-A in the mail. These forms are scheduled to be mailed by January 31st. If you do not receive the form and you believe that you should, you can visit www. healthcare.gov for more information.
- Do you offer free tax preparation in languages other that English?
Yes! We have tax preparers and interpreters that speak Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Russian and Vietnamese, just to name a few. Check out our site listings to see which sites offer multi-lingual tax help.
- Can I still file if I am not a US Citizen?
We can help you if you have a Social Security Number or if you have an individual Taxpayer identification number (ITIN). An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is an identification number that you use when filing you federal and state income taxes if you do not qualify for a social security number. To be included on the tax return, spouses and dependents must also have an ITIN if they do not have a Social Security Number.
If you or your dependents need to apply for an ITIN, our Lloyd Center location can help. See our Free Tax Sites page for times and dates during the Tax season.
For year-round ITIN assistance please contact:
El Programa Hispano
38 NE 3rd St. Suite 140
Gresham, OR 97030
English and Spanish available
- Is my tax return too complicated?
Our volunteers are trained in the most common tax issues.
We can help you with:
- Earned wages from a job
- Tax Credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and Education Credits
- A new or amended return for the past three years
- Cancelled debt from a credit card
- Interest from a bank, mutual funds or dividends from stock
- Income from a pension, 401(K) or IRA, including an early withdrawal from a retirement account.
- Simple sale of stock or primary residence.
- Some small businesses and independent contracting. (See below for more information)
- Can I file my previous years' returns?
Many sites are able to prepare prior year returns up to 3 years back – please call ahead to check on the years you need to do. In fact, for years that you were due a refund but didn’t claim it, we can go back three years to get you the money you deserve. We can also amend returns up to three years old. Stop by because it may be worth hundreds of dollars!
For information about filing past years’ returns please click here.
- What if I have a small business, was self-employed, an independent contractor or was paid in cash?
We are able to file these types of returns but with certain limitations.
We can only help you with your return if all of the following apply:
- Less than $25,000 in expenses
- A profit, not a loss for the year
- No inventory at any time during the year
- No employees
- No equipment that you need to depreciate
- No loans that you need to amortize
- You operated only one business/sole proprietorship during the year (If married, each spouse can operate one.)
- You do not deduct expenses for business use of the home
- You do not own rental properties
Please have all of your income and expenses totaled as best you can before coming to a tax site.
No matter how big or small your business is, the IRS wants to help you understand the tax issues involved. Check out their Small Business and Self Employed Help Center to find the details you need to know.
- What should I do if I owe taxes?
The best thing to do if you owe taxes is to file your return on time, because it will reduce your interest and penalties! You should always file on time, even if you know you won’t be able to pay.
If you owe taxes to the IRS, click here to make a one-time payment, learn about payment plans, or apply for a payment plan online if you can’t pay your balance within 120 days.
If you owe taxes to the State of Oregon, click here to make a payment.
To learn more about payment plans with the State of Oregon, click here.
You will need to enter “payment plans” in the search box.
- Who can help if I have problems with the IRS?
If you have problems with the IRS or you are having trouble settling your debt, contact a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC).
English and Spanish available
Legal Aid Services of Oregon
English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Others available
- How can I contact the IRS and Oregon Department of Revenue?
Contact the IRS at:
- 1220 SW Third Ave. Portland, OR 97204
- Click here for other IRS offices in Oregon
Contact the Oregon Department of Revenue at:
- (503) 378-7988 or 1(800)356-4222
- 955 Center Street NE Salem, OR 97301
- Click here for other Oregon DOR offices