MU students volunteer to do taxes for free

1 month 3 weeks 4 days ago Friday, February 22 2019 Feb 22, 2019 Friday, February 22, 2019 2:00:00 PM CST February 22, 2019 in News
By: Edan Goldfarb, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - Mid-Missourians can get free help with their taxes from University of Missouri students through April 15.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) is an MU service to help people file their tax forms.

Taxpayers are able to sit down with a volunteer to go through their returns.

"We go through all of their finances for the year, and, from me, it goes to quality assurance where they make sure everything is right and then it gets sent to the IRS," volunteer Corey Fox said.

These services are available at two different locations:

  • MU Office for Financial Success at 162 Stanley Hall. Open Tuesday and Wednesday 3:30-7:00 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m-12:30 p.m
  • Family Impact Center at 105 East Ash Street. Open Monday and Wednesday 9:00 a.m-12:30 p.m and Monday 4:15-7:45 p.m

In order to receive assistance taxpayers must bring:

  • Photo Identification
  • Social security cards for every person listed on the return
  • W-2's for every job worked
  • Routing and account number for direct deposit if desired
  • 2017 tax return (optional, but helpful)

What makes the program special, organizers said, is anyone can get help and student volunteers get real world experience.

Program director Andrew Zumwalt said "Most of our student volunteers are going into a profession where they have to provide great customer service and so this experience of working with someone talking about money, providing great customer service, really helps."

One program participant June Nelson said she is more than happy to be helping the students and appreciates the free assistance in getting her taxes done.

"It's good and I know they check it at the end so I think it's good," said Nelson, on the work that the student volunteers do.

The program does not offer services for people with farms, complicated small businesses or rental property income.

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