VITA Free Tax Preparation Information

Thu, Feb 28th, 2019

Center For Siouxland's VITA Program 

If you earned $55,000 or less in 2018, you may be eligible to receive FREE tax preparation. You may also be eligible for the

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Child Care Tax Credits. This is your money to keep and save. 

Call Center For Siouxland to schedule an appointment (712) 252-1861 ext. 11

VITA 2019 sites: 

Center For Siouxland | 715 Douglas Sioux City, IA 51101 | Monday-Friday by appointment only 

Mary J. Treglia Community House | 900 Jennings St. Sioux City, IA 51105 | Evenings by appointment only

Le Mars - The Living Center | 112 Central Ave NE Le Mars, IA 51031 | By appointment only

Super Saturday - Center For Siouxland | Through April 6, 2019 | Saturdays 9:00 am - 2:00 pm | Walk in only

 What to bring: 

  • Valid photo ID for taxpayer and spouse 

  • Social Security cards for you, your spouse and dependents

  • Birth dates for you, your spouse, and dependents

  • Copy of last year's tax return or tax transcript 

  • Proof of income from all sources

  • Interest and dividend statements

  • Bank information for direct deposit 

  • If married filing joint tax return, both spouses must be present

Taxes prepared and filed by IRS-certified volunteers. Free tax preparation begins February 1, 2019. 

Information for Le Mars VITA site below

Money Monday - How is My Credit Score Figured?

Mon, Feb 11th, 2019

Start the year right by improving your credit score. Don't know where to start?  WE CAN HELP!

Your credit score is calculated from five basic categories. The percentages reflect how important each category is in determining your score.

35% Payment History. As you can see, this is a very important factor. This is because lenders tend to believe that the way you have handled credit in the past will predict how you will handle credit in the future.

30% Amount Owed. This category includes such things as how much you owe on your house or your car, the number of accounts with balances, and the proportion of credit limits used. A good rule of thumb is to keep you credit card balances at no more than 30% of their credit limits (a wiser plan is to carry no balance on your cards at all!).

15% Credit History. This data includes not only the amount of time you been using credit, but how long each account has been opened. The longer “track record” you have in using credit wisely, the more credit worthy you will be.

10% New Credit. This would include the number and type of recently opened accounts and the number and timing of recent credit inquiries.

10% Types of Credit. This category contains information on the number of loans and available credit from credit cards.

Remember that your credit score takes all these categories into consideration, not just one or two of them. The importance of any separate factor, good or bad, depends largely upon how it is viewed in relationship to your overall report. There also are alternate ways to show your credit worthiness like faithful payments on utility bills, rent, consumer credit agency payments, etc. that do not reflect on your credit score because they are not reported to the credit bureaus.

Our Consumer Credit Counselors can help you with credit questions, call 712-252-1861 ext. 47.

United Way of Siouxland’s Women’s Power Lunch & Women Aware Single Parent Scholarship Aplications Are Now Available

Tue, Feb 5th, 2019

Applications due:  June 10, 2019



  • High school diploma or GED (minimum required)
  • Single head of household (where children age 18 or younger reside)
  • Employment (full or part time)
  • Siouxland resident for at least two years
  • Enrolled or intending to enroll for a minimum of six credit hours in an on-campus or online program at one of the following local college partners:
  • Briar Cliff University
  • Morningside College
  • Northeast Community College – South Sioux City, NE (College Center only)
  • St. Luke’s College
  • Wayne State College – South Sioux City, NE (College Center only)
  • Western Iowa Tech Community College


  • Financial need
  • Scholastic merit
  • Community service/work
  • Educational objectives
  • Hardship or special circumstances

Applications reviewed and awardees determined by an independent scholarship committee. Finalists are required to attend a personal interview.  Additional information may be required to confirm an applicant’s qualifications.

Awards typically range from $1,000 to $5,000 per year.  Estimated number of scholarships awarded: Ten

REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION (attach and submit with application)

  • High School or GED transcripts OR College transcripts
  • Most recent IRS Income Tax Form
  • Proof of Single Parent status (court approved custody paperwork, tax returns, etc.)
  • Three letters of reference (reference letters must be from previous instructors, pastors, volunteer committee chairs, work supervisors, etc., no family or friends please) (letters of reference do not need to be sealed)
  • One-two page essay on your educational and professional goals and their importance to you
  • Please contact Women Aware at 712-258-4174 with questions.

Money Monday - Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): What It Is and How to Qualify

Mon, Feb 4th, 2019

In general, the less you earn, the larger the credit. And families with children often qualify for the largest credits.  Call Center For Siouxland to schedule your tax appointment and our VITA volunteers will prepare and e-file your taxes for FREE.  They will be sure you get the credits and refunds you are entitled to!  Below are this year's EITC limits and amounts:

2018 EITC Income Limits, Maximum Credit Amounts and Tax Law Updates

Earned Income and AGI Limits

The tax year 2018 Earned income and adjusted gross income (AGI) must each be less than:

If filing…

Qualifying Children Claimed




Three or more

Single, Head of Household or Widowed





Married Filing Jointly





Investment Income Limit

Investment income must be $3,500 or less for the year.

Maximum Credit Amounts

The maximum amount of credit for Tax Year 2018 is:

  • $6,431 with three or more qualifying children
  • $5,716 with two qualifying children

  • $3,461 with one qualifying child

  • $519 with no qualifying children

For more information on whether a child qualifies you for EITC, see:  Qualifying Child Rules, or Publication 596, Rules If You Have a Qualifying Child.

Do I qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit?

Besides staying below the income thresholds noted above, there are other qualification rules and requirements, here are the big eligibility rules:

  • You must have at least $1 of earned income (pensions and unemployment don’t count).
  • Your 2018 investment income must be $3,500 or less.

  • You can’t claim the earned income tax credit if you’re married filing separately.
  • You must not file Form 2555, Foreign Earned Income; or Form 2555-EZ, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.

How much can I get?

Below are the maximum earned income tax credit amounts available for the 2018 tax year, plus the max you can earn before losing the benefit altogether.

2018 Earned Income Tax Credit

(for taxes due in April 2019)
Number of childrenMaximum earned income tax creditMax earnings,
single or head of household filers
Max earnings,
married filers
0 $519 $15,270 $20,950
1 $3,461 $40,320 $46,010
2 $5,716 $45,802 $51,492
3 or more $6,431 $49,194 $54,884
  • Both your earned income and your adjusted gross income each have to be below the levels in the table.
  • In general, the less you earn, the larger the credit.
  • Your earned income usually includes job wages, salary, tips and other taxable pay you get from your employer. Your adjusted gross income is your earned income minus certain deductions.

Call our office at 712-252-1861 ext. 11 to schedule your tax appointment.  Don't forget to follow us on Facebook because WE CAN HELP with many of your financial questions and needs!

Money Monday - January 21st is Blue Monday!

Mon, Jan 21st, 2019

Blue Monday is the third Monday of January, that is supposedly the saddest and most dismal day of the year due to a combination of post-festive bills, upcoming taxes, little sunlight, cold weather and the abandonment of New Year resolutions.

WE CAN HELP you get over some of the Blue Monday blues you may be experiencing!  We might not be able to help with the weather; but if you find yourself stressed about post holiday debt or budgeting problems Consumer Credit Counselors can assist you in working with your creditors or helping to set up a budget.  Call Hilda at 712-252-1861 ext. 47 for more information or to set up an appointment.  Tax season ahead, you can get your taxes prepared for FREE through Center For Siouxland's VITA program.  You can call 712-252-1861 ext. 11 and leave a message, our VITA volunteers will start returning these calls next Monday!

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