SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Students from the School of Accountancy
at Missouri State
University will assist individuals
with free tax preparation, e-filing and questions about other tax issues as
part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
through April 14.
These programs will be held at scheduled times in Glass Hall
at MSU and other various locations in Springfield.
"Last year, working with other Across the Life Span (ATLS)
program volunteers, over 16,000 tax returns were e-filed for clients in
southwest Missouri who received
over $6 million in tax refunds." said Dr. Sandra Byrd, professor in the School
of Accountancy (SOA) and coordinator of the Public Service Tax Clinic. "It's a
very large tax assistance program."
VITA services are
available by appointment or walk-in assistance. It is open to taxpayers with
household incomes under $51,000 per year, older adults and taxpayers who speak
English as a second language. Scheduled times and locations for VITA
walk-in assistance are available on the Public Service Tax Clinics website, by dialing 2-1-1
or calling (800) 427-4626. To
schedule an appointment at a specific location, call (417) 864-0030.
"In addition to providing VITA
walk-in or by appointment services this year MSU students will also act as
coaches for individuals that wish to do their own taxes through a link on the
SOA website to MYFREETAXES," said Byrd. "This link will enable individuals to
e-file their own return and receive their refund much quicker than paper filing
or waiting for an appointment to have their taxes completed."
LITC services are available throughout the year. The LITC
offers assistance for special tax issues and controversies, including issues
with prior tax returns, liens or levies, compromises, currently not collectible
status and understanding letters from the IRS.
Eligibility for LITC assistance requires that a taxpayer's income is no more
than 250 percent of the HHS poverty level. To schedule an appointment for LITC
assistance, call (417) 836-3007.
The VITA and LITC
programs are made possible through assistance from the U.S. Department of the
Treasury, the Community Partnership of the Ozarks, BKD and in collaboration
with many community partners.
Byrd received a grant of $32,594 from United
Way of the Ozarks for VITA
ATLS to provide stipends for the graduate assistants who will work as site
coordinators for the project.