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University Students to Provide Voluntary Income Tax Assistance to Low Income Families

January 22, 2013

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Accounting students at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi will assist low income families in the Coastal Bend prepare their tax returns throughout the tax season as part of the Internal Revenue Service’s Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

According to Kelly Cholick, a former accounting student of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and VITA Project Coordinator for the United Way of the Coastal Bend, the VITA program offers current accounting students at the University a monumental opportunity to acquire real hands-on tax experience.

“From the perspective of an accounting student, the opportunity to actually prepare tax returns for real tax payers is a priceless, real-world experience,” Cholick said.

From a prospective employer’s view, Richard Ray, a former Arthur Andersen Tax Specialist and now an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi said,” It was always a plus to have a prospective job candidate with actual tax preparation experience.”

Most families who earn less than $50,000, military families (in conjunction with the Armed Forces Tax Council), and taxpayers 60 years of age and older (generally in conjunction with AARP sites) are eligible to have their tax returns prepared for free. To file taxes electronically (which speeds the receipt of tax refunds) on a married filing joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.

Anyone needing assistance should bring: 

  • Government issued Photo ID
  • Social Security cards or ITIN numbers for taxpayer, spouses and dependents
  • Birth dates for primary, secondary, and dependents on the tax return
  • If married and filing jointly, both spouses must be present
  • Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, from all employers
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
  • Proof of day-care expenses paid in 2012 including: provider’s name, address, and federal ID number
  • A copy of last year’s Federal and State returns (if available)
  • Bank routing numbers and account numbers if you want your refund direct deposited
  • Other relevant information about income and expenses

 

Locations offering VITA services, including dates and times, through Monday, April 15:

Del Mar College, Venters Business Building: Tuesday and Thursday from 2-6:30 p.m. (Opening on Tuesday, Jan. 29)

Goodwill Store, Flour Bluff:  Thursday from 5:30-8 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Sunday from 1-6 p.m. (Opening on Thursday, Jan. 24)

Boys & Girls Club on Greenwood: Tuesday and Thursday from 3-8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Opening on Thursday, Jan. 24)

Goodwill Store, S. Port Avenue: Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 2-7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon (Opening on Thursday, Jan. 24)

Coastal Community & Teachers Credit Union, 1909 Trojan, across from Moody High School: Monday and Wednesday from 3-7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon (Opening on Monday, Jan. 28)

In 2012, the VITA program prepared 2,543 returns (compared to 1,876 the year before) for more than $2.6 million in refunds for the community.  Additional information is available at http://www.uwcb.org/.

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