Accounting Students Provide Free Assistance with Tax Form Preparation

An Eastern Kentucky University accounting class is partnering with the Central Kentucky Economic Empowerment Project and Kentucky River Foothills Community Action Agency to offer basic income tax preparation for those making $53,000 a year or less.

Thirty-two students in Accounting 322 (Income Tax) will provide two levels of free service: income tax preparation service and facilitated self-assist tax preparation (SFA).

Dr. Trish Isaacs, associate professor in EKU’s Department of Accounting, Finance and Information Systems, explained that the income tax preparation service is the traditional IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) service.

In the VITA program, the IRS-certified student volunteers meet face-to-face with taxpayers to prepare tax returns for electronic filing. While meeting with the taxpayer, students prepare federal and state income tax returns, which are then reviewed by Isaacs or another reviewer before submission for e-file or being printed for paper filing.

Most taxpayers choose to have their returns prepared for them. “The VITA program is a great opportunity for the students and for the community,” Isaacs added. “Students apply what they are learning in the classroom, and their learning is enhanced, and community members receive a valuable service at no cost.”

The Self-Assist program, which is also available, “is a good option for taxpayers who would like to complete their own simple returns online, but would also like the additional support of having someone available to answer questions as they complete their returns, or perhaps simply need access to a computer,” Isaacs said.

VITA services are available to anyone in Richmond and Madison County who qualifies, and to EKU students, faculty and staff as well, Isaacs added.

The EKU students will be available in Room 269 (The Business Library and Academic Commons) of the Business and Technology Center (adjacent to the EKU Center for the Arts) on the following six dates:

·         Thursday, Feb. 26, 5-8 p.m.

·         Monday, March 2, 5-8 p.m.

·         Tuesday, March 10, 5-8 p.m.

·         Friday, March 20, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

·         Monday, March 23, 5-8 p.m.

·         Tuesday, April 7, 5-8 p.m.

Appointments can be scheduled through the United Way of the Bluegrass, either online at www.uwbg.org, or by calling 2-1-1 (just as you would dial 9-1-1) or Isaacs at 859-622-1590.

Clients should bring the following information to the site:

·         Proof of identification (photo ID)

·         Social Security cards for client, spouse and any dependents or a Social Security number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration

·         An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter may be substituted for you, your spouse and your dependents if you do not have a Social Security number

·         Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN

·         Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return

·         Wage and earning statements (Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R,1099-Misc) from all employers

·         Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)

·         A copy of last year’s federal and state returns, if available

·         Proof of bank account routing and account numbers for direct deposit such as a blank check

·         To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms

·         Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider's tax identifying number such as their Social Security number or business Employer Identification Number

·         Forms 1095-A, B or C, Affordable Health Care Statements

·         Copies of income transcripts from IRS and state, if applicable

Also, to file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.

For more information, contact Isaacs at 859-622-1590 or at trish.isaacs@eku.edu.

Published on January 29, 2015

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