The Woods offers free income tax assistance

January 26th, 2011 | SMWC

Puzzled by the tax law or which credits to take? Need assistance with your tax return?  Let Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) help you put together the pieces of your 2010 income taxes.

SMWC offers the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program to help those with an income of $49,000 and below who cannot prepare their own tax returns. Through VITA, which is a national program through the Internal Revenue Service, certified volunteers sponsored by various organizations help prepare basic tax returns in communities across the country. The SMWC VITA site will offer free electronic filing.

Trained and certified as VITA Tax Preparers, eight SMWC accounting students will assist U.S. citizens and residents with their federal and Indiana income tax preparations.

“The VITA Program provides our students with practical tax experience outside the classroom,” said Jamie McCracken, SMWC assistant professor of business and co-coordinator of SMWC’s VITA services. “VITA is a wonderful way for students to use their training to help the community.”

More workers could be eligible for a special tax credit this year and not know it. As a result, they may overlook claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit which can put anywhere from $2 to more than $5,600 into their pockets. McCracken encourages taxpayers to get help determining their Earned Income Tax Credit eligibility through this tax assistance program.

“The students are excited and motivated to make our opening day a success,” said Jennie Mitchell, professor of business and co-coordinator of SMWC’s VITA services. “Reading about a subject is one thing, but actually practicing what you are reading is a whole new level of learning.”

Those who wish to have tax returns prepared at a VITA site must bring:

  • Proof of identification,
  • Social Security Cards for you, your spouse and dependents and/or a Social Security number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration,
  • Birth dates for all persons listed on the tax return,
  • Current year’s tax package if you received one,
  • Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, from all employers,
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099),
  • Copies of last year’s federal and state returns, if available,
  • Bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit of refunds,
  • Amounts paid for day care, if applicable and the day care provider's tax identifying number, and
  • To electronically file their returns and get the fastest refunds, both spouses must be present to sign joint returns.

To take advantage of this opportunity, appointments must be made in advance by calling  (812) 535-5223. VITA services begin January 28 through April 12.

Schedule:

Mondays – 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Tuesdays– 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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