Over the past few months, accounting students from Clayton State University have been busy reviewing all the tax law changes for 2011. This is due to the fact that they are participating in the free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program hosted by the College of Business for the past 22 years.
This service will be offered at the Clayton State College of Business (CoB) on the following Saturdays in 2012; Feb. 4, Feb. 11, Feb. 18, Feb. 25, Mar. 17, Mar. 24, and Mar. 31. Each VITA session will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the College of Business. Taxpayers will be assisted on a first come, first serve basis. If taxpayers have further questions they may call the VITA hotline at (678) 466-4527. Spanish translators are available, but must be scheduled in advance.
VITA is a national program that provides tax support for certain eligible taxpayers. This program, which has been in existence for 38 years, provides volunteers with extensive IRS training and testing. The volunteers can then ensure that taxpayers will have their tax returns filled out accurately and timely and receive the tax credits they qualify for, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. Students can also benefit from having VITA volunteers prepare their taxes because the volunteers are trained in the rules for the credits available for tuition and other school-related expenses. The VITA program also prepares state income tax returns and provides free e-filing options to ensure clients receive their refunds as soon as possible.
Clayton State University is proud to be the only university in the State of Georgia that has successfully participated in the VITA program for the past 22 years.
“Our highly trained volunteers are eager to begin working with the public in order to make their tax preparation experience stress-free,” says Professor Judith Ogden, CoB faculty member, who is spending her eighth year with VITA at Clayton State, and her 15th year with VITA nationwide. “I enjoy working with the program. It gives our students hands-on experience, and provides a valuable service to the public. We have taxpayers who return every year.”
Those who are eligible to receive this service are taxpayers who make under $49,000 a year and wish to receive help with their 2011 personal income taxes. The program does not provide assistance with out-of-state or small business returns, or for those who are self-employed.
Those interested in receiving this assistance must bring the following items:
social security cards for themselves, their spouse, and dependents,
wage and earnings statements from all employers,
interest and dividend statements,
other relevant information about income and expenses including day care expenses
a copy of last year’s federal and state income tax returns if possible,
bank routing and account numbers for direct deposit.
Please note that both spouses will need to be present to file electronically.
According to Ogden, Clayton State’s VITA volunteers look forward to helping the community, and making this another successful year with VITA.
Naturally, VITA is on Facebook. Search for “VITA for Clayton State.” Also, the VITA webpage can be found at http://business.clayton.edu/jogden/volunteer_income_tax_assistance%20webpage.htm.