CRESSON - Area residents seeking help with their tax returns can get an assist this year from Mount Aloysius College's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. VITA is now in its fourth year at Mount Aloysius College.
Members of the Student Accounting Society have received training by a Pittsburgh-based IRS representative. The program started Feb. 1 and will be available to a limited number of area residents until April 17 in Academic Hall.
Mount Aloysius President Tom Foley noted that the response from business student volunteers is heartening but not surprising. "Every club on our campus has a community service component built right into the club's constitution," Foley said. "Last semester alone, students at Mount Aloysius College donated 4,733 hours of service to the community.
Giving back to our community is a central part of what we call our Mount Aloysius Campus Compact. Simply stated," he said, "at Mount Aloysius, our goal is educating students to become job-ready, technology-ready and community-ready. Community learning is part of who we are as educators and neighbors. We're glad to be able to offer this service to the community."
Residents must qualify to use the IRS's VITA program. VITA is geared for low to moderate income families with incomes of $50,000 and below. Mount Aloysius College volunteers are business majors and MBA grad students who have earned IRS certification during intensive training at the College. All students are volunteers.
In addition to free tax return preparation assistance, Most Aloysius College, like most VITA sites also offers free electronic filing (e-filing). Individuals taking advantage of the e-file program should receive refunds in half the time compared to paper returns - even faster when tax refunds are deposited directly into a bank account.
Anyone who qualifies and who wishes to use the Mount Aloysius College's VITA program should treat the service no differently than if they were going to an accountant.
Items needed to complete their return may include proof of identification; Social Security cards for you, your spouse and dependents and/or a Social Security number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration; Individual Taxpayer Identification Number 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, 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 providers and the daycare provider's tax identifying number (the provider's Social Security number or the provider's business Employer Identification Number); and to file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.
Tax returns will be done on a limited basis and by appointment only.
Prospective participants should contact faculty VITA coordinator, Dr. Gary Hypes at 886-6353 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When scheduled, VITA clients should report to Mount Aloysius College, Academic Hall, Room 211.