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MBA students offer free tax preparation
2/05/13

Beginning Thursday, Feb. 7, and each Thursday through March 7, Alfred University (AU) is offering free tax return preparation for qualified residents through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), an organization that offers IRS (Internal Revenue Service)-certified volunteer preparers to file taxes for community members.

The Alfred University Vita headquarters is in Seidlin Hall, Room 016. The site will be open on Thursdays through March 7 from 5 to 7 p.m. Appointments may be scheduled by dialing 211. If there is any difficulty setting an appointment, the AU VITA site can also be contacted at bamberg@alfred.edu.

All qualified taxpayers must bring documentation with them in order for a VITA tax-preparer to file the taxes. Mandatory items include an original Social Security card - photo copies cannot be accepted; a valid photo I.D.; and all tax forms, consisting most commonly of either W-2s or 1099s. In order to receive direct deposit, the volunteer will need a voided check from the taxpayer’s financial institution.

This year AU masters of business administration (MBA) degree in accounting candidates are running the Alfred VITA site as part of their career development.  AU MBA students participating in VITA have been studying tax preparer courses and will continue training. Before participating in VITA the students must pass six IRS certification exams.  In addition, each tax return will be reviewed by a faculty member and then reviewed again by an off-campus VITA quality specialist.

VITA is designed to help low-to-moderate-income taxpayers complete their annual tax return free of charge. Community members qualified for VITA services generally make $50,000 or less, or are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit or other low-income tax benefits.