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ISU College of Business to begin annual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program
January, 22, 2018
POCATELLO – Students in the Idaho State University College of Business accounting programs will once again offer the community and fellow students the opportunity to have their taxes filed for free as part of the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
Students will begin filing on Jan. 25 through March 15 every Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. in the Rendezvous Complex, Room 213. In addition, the group will also offer assistance for those that wish to prepare their own tax returns. This will take place on Tuesdays from 9 to 11 a.m. in Room 507 of the Business Administration Building.
In order to qualify for VITA services, patrons must make an annual income of $52,000 or less. They are also asked to bring all tax documents, their social security card and a form of ID. International students will also need to bring their passports.
In addition to providing free tax assistance to the community and to students, VITA also provides invaluable experience for College of Business students in the undergraduate and graduate accounting programs. Last year, students filed a record number of tax returns, surpassing many of the regional schools with comparable student volunteer participation.
“Our goal last year was to file 300 tax returns, a pretty large increase from the 261 returns we filed in the previous year,” said Dawn Konicek, accounting professor and advisor for the program. “By the last day of the program we had filed 320 returns total, surpassing our goal.”
According to the professor, most other schools of a similar size and student participation, file around 70 to 80 returns through the whole two-month span. The program typically has around 20 student volunteers including preparers and more advanced students helping to review and finalize each return before submitting.
Konicek said she hoped to file 400 returns this year. About 30 students are participating in the program.
According to Konicek, before students can volunteer for the program, they must pass three exams covering volunteer code of conduct, an intake and review sheet exam as well as a basic and advanced tax exam.