Volunteer Income Tax Assistance – Free Help for Tax Preparation

Tax season is here! Once again, Westminster College’s accounting students are on the front lines helping to file taxes for free. They are turning the Coulter Science Center Room 121 into a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Site. Check out the details below on how you can have your taxes prepared for free. Listen to the Westminster Waves podcast featuring accounting professor Elise Bartley discussing the program.

What?

Free income tax assistance.

When?

The VITA service is available 5 pm to 7 pm on Mondays from February 6 – April 10 (Closed on March 20).

Where?

Coulter Science Center 121 on Westminster’s campus. Click here to view our campus map. Room 121 is on the lower level, just off the atrium. Street parking is available on Westminster Ave. or in the parking lot north of 7th Street.

Who is eligible for this free service?

Individuals and families with annual income of less than $60,000.

International students are also eligible.

Do I need to make an appointment?

Service is provided on a first-come, first-served basis until the site reaches maximum capacity.

What do I bring?

  • Photo identification
  • Social security cards for you, your spouse, and each of your dependents
  • Form W-2 for every job you or your spouse worked during 2016
  • A personal check or Routing and Account number for direct deposit
  • Your 2015 tax return

PLUS – in 2016, did you…

  • Receive unemployment compensation? Bring your Form 1099G.
  • Pay for childcare? Bring the total you paid for childcare expenses and the name, address, and tax ID/social security number of the childcare provider.
  • Pay student loan interest? Bring the total of the student loan interest you paid.
  • Pay for tuition? Bring Form 1098 for you, your spouse, and/or dependent children.

Westminster’s history of tax service

When a budget crisis lead the Central Missouri Community Action in Callaway County to cut their free tax preparation service, Westminster students were there to help. Professor Elise Bartley organized a yearly service provided by accounting students to file taxes for a community in need. The service is called VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance).

“Our clients would normally pay around $100+ to have their taxes prepared by a paid service, so we are very proud to be saving them so much money,” says Bartley. “The students gain valuable experience. Many students don’t have the opportunity to work in a client-serving role prior to graduation, this helps them figure out what those interactions might look like when they enter the workforce.”

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