USI students eager to prepare taxes through Volunteer Income Tax (VITA) Program

Image copyright: USI Photography and Multimedia

Through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program, University of Southern Indiana students in the Romain College of Business will provide free federal and state income tax preparation on Monday evenings. The service is open to students, faculty, staff and the general public. 

The sessions will be held by appointment only in the Business and Engineering Center on the following Mondays: January 31, February 7, 14, 21 and 28; and March 14 and 21. Appointments will be available at 5 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. All participants are required to wear masks or face coverings during the visit, and social distancing protocols have been implemented to ensure the safety of both the students and participants.  

“We are excited to continue to provide free tax preparation to members of our USI and surrounding community with protocols in place to ensure a safe experience for our students and clients,” Dr. Brett Bueltel, Assistant Professor of Accounting and Site Coordinator for the USI VITA Program, says. “Our students are excited for the opportunity to serve our community and gain relevant, real-world experience in preparing tax returns.” 

In VITA programs, the Internal Revenue Service partners with national and local organizations to provide tax services to individuals with low-to-moderate income at no cost to the taxpayer. Accounting students will interview and prepare the taxes of those taxpayers who make an appointment for the service. VITA sites do not prepare Schedule C business forms or Schedule E rental forms. Federal and state tax returns are prepared at the time of the appointment, and all taxpayers must be available to sign their returns. Preparation of returns typically takes 90 minutes to complete. 

Individuals are required to bring their tax information, photo identification cards and Social Security cards for themselves and any dependents. International students must bring their passports and visas as well. The IRS encourages electronic filing and returns will be filed electronically for those who are eligible. 

Please bring copies of your prior year state and federal tax returns if they are available. Your tax returns from the prior year are very helpful in preparing correct and complete current year returns. Paper returns will be prepared for those taxpayers who do not qualify for electronic filing or prefer paper returns. 

To make an appointment, call the Romain College of Business at 812-464-1718.