Business students offer free tax preparation assistance

2015 VITA volunteers

JOHNSON CITY (Jan. 14) — A group of East Tennessee State University business students, under the guidance of accountancy faculty member Dr. Anthony Masino, will offer free tax preparation assistance again this year through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program.

The student volunteers will be available on five Saturdays - Feb. 6 and 20, March 5 and 19, and April 2 -from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. in the third floor computer lab, room 318, in Sam Wilson Hall, located on campus at 200 Ross Drive.

 As an approved VITA location, the ETSU group will assist taxpayers who had $54,000 or less in income during tax year 2015 and need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. ETSU students, staff, faculty and the general public are invited to participate.

In addition to free basic income tax return preparation and electronic filing, volunteers will inform taxpayers about special tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled. Taxpayers can visit the ETSU VITA website and an IRS-certified volunteer will guide them through the tax return process.

Those who wish to have their tax return prepared at a ETSU VITA session should bring with them:

  • Proof of identification – government issued picture ID
  • Social Security Cards for the taxpayer, spouse and any dependents on the tax return
  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter for the taxpayer, spouse and dependents
  • Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN
  • Birth dates for the taxpayer, spouse and dependents on the tax return
  • Wage and earning statement(s) from all employers, including any W-2, W-2G 1099-R, 1099-Misc.
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Form 1099)
  • A copy of last year’s federal and state returns, if available
  • Proof of bank account routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit, such as a blank check
  • Total paid to daycare provider(s) and the daycare provider’s tax identifying number (the provider’s Social Security Number or business Employer Identification Number), if appropriate
  • To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms

Last year, more than 30 graduate and undergraduate students successfully completed IRS certification requirements in order to volunteer. Those volunteers were able to prepare and assist members of the public with over 100 tax returns.

For further information, contact Masino at 423-439-4432 or .              

For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at 423-439-8346.

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