Free Tax Service Says February Is Its Busiest Time

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COLUMBIA - This is the busiest time of the season for the University of Missouri's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site.

Even though April 15 is still more than two months away, Andrew Zumwalt, the assistant extension professor who oversees the program, says the busiest time for the service is at the beginning of February.

"The busy times are really very early on in tax season where people, they would like their refund, so they want to file quickly to get their refund," Zumwalt said. "Then there's a bit of a lull in March or so, and they there's a big uptick in April when the procrastinators come out and want to get their taxes done."

While the wait for people to get their taxes done is three hours today with people being turned away just an hour after the site opened, Zumwalt says during the lull in March the line is usually very short.

The program isn't just open to people associated with the university. It's part of the IRS's VITA program, which is targeted to help anyone who make less than $52,000 a year. Zumwalt says the only other restriction is that the program does not do farm income.

This is the first year legally married same-sex couples can file jointly in Missouri, but Zumwalt says the program hasn't seen a same-sex couple file jointly yet.

"I think it's going to take a little bit of time for people to have people determine 'Ok, is this really what we want to do.'"

The program usually sees about 1,500 families a year. If you're interested in getting your taxes done through the program, the site is open at Stanley Hall on the University of Missouri's campus from 4:30-8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and 10-1:30 p.m. on Saturdays and at Cornell Hall on Mondays from 4:30-8 p.m.