Free Tax Services

At this time, WEII VITA services are available by appointment only at our Detroit Lakes office. Due to public health concerns, in-person consultations between taxpayers and preparers will be limited to an intake appointment and an appointment to pick up completed returns. Virtual return delivery will also be available.

To schedule an intake appointment, please call Sue at 218.844.7029. Masks must be worn during appointments. If you don’t have a mask, we will provide one for you.

White Earth Investment Initiative’s involvement in free tax preparation services began in 2004 as an extension of a local AARP tax service. It grew into an independent Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site in 2006, solely focused on the White Earth Reservation. During the tax season, we have sites at the Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen, the Old Pine Point School in Pine Point, and at the Graystone Hotel in Detroit Lakes.

Eligibility & Restrictions

To take advantage of White Earth Investment Initiative’s free tax-preparation services, residents must meet the following income guidelines:

  • $60,000 or less annual adjusted gross income

Unfortunately, we can’t prepare the following returns:

  • Military income
  • Hurricane survivors
  • Mortgage foreclosures
  • Rental income

  • Employee business expenses
  • Moving expenses
  • Complex capital gains
  • Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) payments

  • Hobby income
  • Businesses with employees, inventory, depreciation, businesses with more than $25,000 in expenses

Helpful Links

Tax Preparation Checklist

Here’s a list of items that you should bring to your appointment:

Valid picture I.D. (copies are acceptable)

Social Security cards, ITIN cards or letters for all persons listed on the tax return (copies are acceptable)

Prior year’s tax returns

Written verification of bank routing and accounting numbers for direct deposit (voided check, bank statement or other document from your bank showing your bank routing and account number)

Income statements or forms:
  • Wages from each job (W-2)
  • Interest (Form 1099-INT)
  • Dividends (Form 1099-DIV)
  • Retirement plans (Form 1099-R)
  • Gambling winnings (Form 1099-2G)
  • Unemployment (Form 1099-G)
  • Social Security benefits (Form SSA)
  • Year-end income statements from MFIP, SSI, MSA, GA, veterans’ benefits and workers compensation

  • Education expenses* you paid for your children in grades K-12 (e.g., tutoring, rental/purchase of instruments, music lessons, pens, pencils, etc.)
  • Tuition expenses you paid to attend a university or technical college (Form 1098-T)
  • Interest you paid on student loans (Form 1098-E)
  • Day-care expenses you paid for your children; bring provider’s name, address, tax ID or Social Security number
  • Charitable donations of cash or non-cash
  • Homeowners: Mortgage interest and real estate taxes paid in 2019 (Form 1098) and statement of property tax payable in 2020 mailed by the county in March
  • Renters: Certificate of Rent Paid (CRP) from your landlord

Health Insurance Forms:
  • Form 1095-A if you or your dependents received health insurance through the national or state health insurance marketplace.

*You may be eligible to claim the K-12 education subtraction and/or education credit. Learn more.

Become A Volunteer

White Earth Investment Initiative wants you to be its next tax volunteer.

Why You Should Volunteer
  • To increase your own understanding of tax law
  • To provide a free service to low- and moderate-income taxpayers
  • To serve your community
  • To meet new people
Volunteer Requirements
  • Participate in a 3 night training the first part of January
  • Pass the IRS volunteer exam

Volunteers are reimbursed for their travel miles.

Here’s what a few tax volunteers have to say about the free tax services from White Earth Investment Initiative:

“We’re always looking for more volunteers. Taxes are fun!” – Dorothy, volunteer

“It is enjoyable spending time with other volunteers, getting to know new people and knowing how much people appreciate the service.” – Amber, volunteer

“You don’t have to be a tax expert.” – John, volunteer

For more information on becoming a volunteer, please email Sue Trnka or call 218-844-7029, or fill out the form below.

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