EKU Accounting Students Provide Free Income Tax Preparation Assistance

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 $52,000 a year or less.

Thirty-four 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 SFA program “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.

“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 asset at no cost.”

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 five dates:

·         Monday, Feb. 17, 5-8 p.m.

·         Thursday, Feb. 20, 5-8 p.m.

·         Friday, Feb. 28, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

·         Thursday, March 20, 5-8 p.m.

·         Monday, March 31, 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 – Picture ID

  • Social Security Cards for you, your spouse and dependents or a Social Security Number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration or

  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter for you, your spouse and dependents

  • Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN

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

  • Wage and earning statement(s) 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 numbers and account numbers for Direct Deposit, such as a blank check

  • Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider's tax identifying number (the provider's Social Security Number or the provider's business Employer Identification Number) if appropriate

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, 2014