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Students Offer Tax Help

Alice Thielges | Staff Writer | 3-30-2012

A student helps clients with tax forms. Photo by: Kailer Overman

BSU students who have completed the course Income Taxes I and passed the IRS certification test not only get the satisfaction of academic achievement, but are also qualified to assist others with their taxes.

The IRS has a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) to which these students donate their time. VITA will offer their help every Wednesday and Thursday through April 12.

Students are welcome to head over to Decker Hall, located between Birch and Linden, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 until 6 p.m. Signs are posted on the front doors of Decker and  throughout the building to guide students to room 14, where these services are performed. VITA not only provides assistance to BSU students, but also low-income and elderly individuals in the area.

There is a specific requirement applicants must meet. Anyone who wants to avail themselves of these services should have an income of $50,000 or less per year. Many VITA clients also qualify for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Qualifying for EITC means that applicants have an opportunity to receive a refundable credit for more than the taxes they pay. Before attending a session, there are certain documents VITA applicants are encouraged to bring.

Some items needed are dates of birth and social security numbers, in addition to information about the applicants’ spouse and dependents.  Tax documents provided by employers and documentation regarding last year’s tax return are also required.

In addition to everything VITA offers, there is also help with e-filing for those who qualify. With e-filing and direct deposit, qualifiers will usually receive a refund within 10 days.

Fortunately, the VITA program runs for most of this year’s tax season, which is coming to a close.