Free Tax Help
In order to qualify, you have to make less than $40,000 a year. The Voluntary Income Tax Assistance program, or VITA, is helping prepare taxes for low-wage workers and families. The VITA program is available to people in eight counties including Boone, Callaway, and Cole. The volunteers are mainly students from the University of Missouri. So far they've helped about 1,000 people file their taxes and returned more than $1 million back to the community through state and federal refunds.
"Our clients are ecstatic about this service," said VITA coordinator Teri Roberts. "They can't afford to go to a pay preparer. A lot of them have children that require extra forms to be filed which causes an extra expense for the pay preparer. I have literally had clients cry when I told them what their refund was going to be."
The tax preparers will still offer their services this week. Roberts expects this week to be the busiest as the tax due date gets closer.
The volunteers are mainly students at the University of Missouri, and they also benefit from this program.
"The biggest thing that students learn is about taxes and how taxes influence the community. And what people pay and what the benefits are to having children and such. But the big benefit to the student is working with the client and getting that report," said Andrew Zumwalt.
More than 40 MU students are currently working with VITA. Your taxes could take as little as ten minutes to complete. Roberts says she got one done even faster than that.
"I did one in about five minutes but that was a very very simple return," Roberts said.
She expects this week to be the busiest as the tax due date gets closer.
These services are offered in Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Cole, Cooper, Howard, Moniteau, and Osage counties. This week, the services in Boone county on Wednesday and Friday at 1500 Vandiver from 10:00am-1:30pm; in Cole County on Friday at 2010 William St from 1:00pm-4:00pm, and Callaway County will offer extended hours to clients on Wednesday from 12-8pm.