Ivy Tech students provide free tax filing assistance

LAFAYETTE, Ind. — IRS-certified Ivy Tech accounting students will provide free tax help to qualified income tax filers now through April 11. Tax assistance will be available Ivy Hall Room 2337 located on the Ivy Tech campus at 3101 S. Creasy Lane in Lafayette. Tax filers must make an appointment by calling 269-5848. Times are available Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

The students have been trained and certified under the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. The program offers free assistance to filers with household incomes under $42,000 who cannot prepare their own tax returns. Volunteer students will also help filers with any special credits such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly.

Returns will be electronically submitted to the IRS at no cost. To electronically file a joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms. Tax filers can expect to receive any tax refunds within 7 to 14 days in most cases.

Taxpayers should bring a government-issued photo identification, Social Security cards and birth dates for all persons listed on the tax return, income and tax forms (W-2, 1099, pension, Social Security), information on property taxes or any rent paid, any IRS notices, a copy of last year’s tax return, amount paid for child care and child care provider’s tax ID number, any college tuition statement or college bookstore receipts, and a blank or cancelled check if direct deposit is desired.

The IRS provides the computer software used to prepare the tax returns. Volunteers complete an IRS training and certification course in basic income tax return preparation. Training includes how to set up a tax preparation office, interact with clients, and prepare individual returns. Special training is provided to help older Americans with the proper method of reporting pension and Social Security income. Students are also enrolled in an independent study accounting course and receive college credits.

Each return is reviewed. Students must complete a verification checklist before submitting the return electronically. At the end of the program, the students will evaluate their efforts and make recommendations for future programs.

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public post-secondary institution and the nation’s largest singly-accredited statewide community college system with more than 120,000 students enrolled annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

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 November 2012