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UI Accounting Students Offer Free Income Tax Assistance

As tax season approaches, accounting students from the University of Iowa Henry B. Tippie College of Business will be available to assist U.S. citizens and residents with their federal and Iowa income tax returns through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

VITA volunteers provide free tax preparation services for low to moderate-income taxpayers. Sessions will be conducted by members and pledges of Beta Alpha Psi, the National Honors Organization for financial information professionals. These 31 students are UI accounting majors who have completed both an introductory tax course in the Tippie College of Business and IRS training. VITA provides students practical tax experience outside the classroom, and is a community service program that is part of the organization's professional development activities.

VITA services are provided at the Iowa City Public Library on Wednesdays from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and Sundays from 1:30 to 4 p.m., through April 12. Volunteers will also be at the Coralville Public Library from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays.

There will be no assistance during spring break from March 12-19.

Taxpayers who were U.S. residents or resident aliens during all of 2005 and who meet the qualifications below can take advantage of this service. Taxpayers should bring a copy of last year's tax return if one was filed, their tax form package, pertinent receipts, and withholding and interest statements.

You qualify for this service if:

  • You are single and your gross income is $25,000 or less.
  • You are married and your gross combined income is $35,000 or less.

  • You are not self-employed or have income from rental property.

  • You have not sold securities (stocks and bonds) in 2005.

  • You do not have earned income outside the state of Iowa.

  • You did not received a lump-sum distribution from pension plan in 2005.

  • You have documentation for any car and/or truck expenses you wish to claim.

The UI Office of International Students and Scholars will prepare tax returns for international students and scholars, including their spouses, who are classified as non-U.S. residents. Please contact OISS directly at 335-0335 for assistance with filing non-resident income tax returns.

For more information on the VITA program, contact the Iowa City Public Library, 319-356-5200 (press 5 to access tax information) or the Coralville Public Library at 319-351-2163.

Audio about the VITA program from accounting students and UI Professor Joyce Berg is online at: www.uiowa.edu/~ournews/audio-current.html#vita.


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