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UI Accounting Students Offer Free Income Tax Help

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 VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program.

Taxpayers can obtain help at the Iowa City Public Library from 1 to 3:30 p.m. on Sundays, Feb. 24 through April 14. There will be not be VITA sessions on March 17 and 24 because of spring break. Volunteers will also be at both the Iowa City Public Library and the Coralville Public Library from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, Feb. 27 through April 10. There will not be a VITA session March 20.

In prior years, the VITA volunteers have helped both U.S. residents and the international community. This year, the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) will make help available to non-residents affiliated with the university, including their spouses and dependents. OISS is offering a web-based tax program to assist non-residents to prepare and print their federal income tax returns. Assistance workshops will also be held in March and April to assist with the filing of federal income tax returns. For more information on this non-resident tax program call OISS at (319) 335-0335 or see http://www.uiowa.edu/~intl/OISS/current/OISStax_info_01.html.

The VITA program is an annual service activity sponsored by the UI chapter of Beta Alpha Psi (BAP), the national honor fraternity for accounting students. The 40 student volunteers have completed at least one tax course at the Tippie College. Over winter break, they also took an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) course and successfully passed an IRS test.

In order to obtain assistance, taxpayers must bring a copy of their 2000 Federal and Iowa income tax returns filed last year. Single taxpayers cannot have gross income exceeding $20,000, and married taxpayers cannot have combined gross income in excess of $25,000. In addition, the student volunteers cannot assist taxpayers who have income from outside of Iowa.

For more information on the VITA program, contact Iowa City Public Library, (319) 356-5200 or the Coralville Public Library at (319) 351-2163. See also http://www.iowa-city.lib.ia.us/taxes/vita/vita-2002.htm for additional tax information and a complete schedule of VITA sessions.


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