With tax season in full swing, Missouri State University accounting students are helping the community and fellow students file their tax returns.
MSU accounting students work alongside volunteers from other local organizations including Community Partnership of the Ozarks, Drury University and Catholic Charities of Southwest Missouri.
Students have been volunteering since the beginning of February. They will continue to help taxpayers prepare and file basic federal state tax returns through mid-April.
Preparing students to volunteer
Dr. Kerri Tassin, accounting professor, organizes MSU student involvement in the tax clinic each year.
“The demand for these services is extremely high,” she said. “We are never short of work.”
Dr. Tassin teaches ACC 525: Individual Income Tax Assistance in the spring. This class is designed to prepare students to become volunteers.
The course is an opportunity for students to integrate tax accounting skills, critical thinking skills, communication skills and research skills with community service.
It also provides service-learning experience as well as the social and ethical issues inherent in U.S. tax policy.
“It’s better to know these things in advance. Students know what I’m teaching is very practical and concerns a lot of people,” said Dr. Tassin.
Who is eligible?
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program offers free tax help to people who earned less than $56,000, persons with disabilities and those who speak limited English.
Along with the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE), VITA is sponsored by the IRS. Both programs are designed to promote and support free tax preparation and to build financial stability for communities.
The free tax preparation clinics can be found at various locations in Greene County. Taxpayers also can find clinic dates and a list of what they will need to bring with them online.
If you made less than $66,000, file your federal and state taxes for free using My Free Taxes.