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Volunteer Income Tax Assistance - VITA

Student volunteers power our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, in which we file income taxes for low-income families in Madison and Chenango Counties free of charge, while students gain practical real-world experience.
Professor teaching students as they prepare tax returns for community members

In 2015, approximately 25 Colgate students prepared tax returns for 880 families in central New York. More than $1.7 million in tax returns were refunded to the local communities, with nearly 35% coming from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

Getting Tax Assistance

To qualify for assistance with filing your taxes, you must be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). To determine if you are eligible to receive assistance from VITA, download this eligibility reference.

More information about the EITC.

Tax preparation sessions are offered five days per week from January–April in the following locations:
  • Wampsville, Madison County Department of Social Services
  • Morrisville, Community Action Partnership
  • Hamilton, Hamilton Public Library
  • Norwich, Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • Cazenovia, Cazenovia Cares

Make an Appointment

If you are a potential client interested in receiving assistance with filing your taxes, please make an appointment:


Students who volunteer with the VITA program find the experience extremely fulfilling. While you help thousands of local low-income families ensure they receive the full returns to which they are entitled, you will also learn practical skills and gain real-world insight into the United States tax system. To volunteer, you must enroll in SOSC 275 in the spring.

About the Program

VITA is funded by the Upstate Institute at Colgate and is part of the Madison-Chenango EITC Partnership.

The Madison-Chenango EITC Partnership is a collaboration of the following community organizations: