USI students provide free tax assistance to the public


Through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA), USI student volunteers will provide free income tax preparation on Wednesdays, February 6 through April 10.

“We have nine students enrolled in the program, and this will allow us to help approximately 16 taxpayers per night this tax season,” said Brett Long, associate professor of accounting and business law. “Preparing tax returns for members of our community is a great experience for our accounting students and a real savings for taxpayers.”

In VITA programs, the Internal Revenue Service partners with national and local organizations to provide tax services to individuals with low-to-moderate income at no cost to the taxpayer. Accounting students will interview and prepare the taxes of those taxpayers who make an appointment for this service. VITA sites do not prepare Schedule C business forms or Schedule E rental forms. Your federal and state tax returns are prepared while you wait and all taxpayers must be available to sign their returns. Preparation of returns typically takes 90 minutes to two hours to complete.

The sessions will be held by appointment only in Room 1004 in the USI Business and Engineering Center, at 5 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. on the following Wednesdays: February 6, 13, 20, and 27; March 6, 20, and 27; and April 3 and 10.

Individuals will be required to bring tax information, photo identification cards, and Social Security cards for themselves and their dependents. International students must bring their passports and visas as well. The IRS encourages electronic filing and returns will be filed electronically for those who are eligible.

Please bring copies of your 2011 state and federal tax returns if they are available. Your tax returns from the prior year are very helpful in preparing correct and complete current year returns. Paper returns will be prepared for those taxpayers who do not qualify for electronic filing or prefer paper returns.

To make an appointment, call the USI College of Business at 812-464-1718.