UNI Accounting students get real-world tax experiences

Accounting students receive tax preparation training(right: UNI accounting students receive training in tax preparation)

Accounting students at the University of Northern Iowa are providing free income tax assistance again this year through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. The program will run from Feb. 8 through April 14, excluding March 15-20 (spring break). Sessions are 5 to 7 p.m., Mondays and Wednesdays, in Room 223 of the Curris Business Building. No appointment is necessary. Individuals are encouraged to arrive by 5:30 p.m. to allow volunteers sufficient time to complete returns.

VITA was established by the Internal Revenue Service to help low income people who may find it difficult to pay for tax preparation services. The program also provides accounting students an experiential learning opportunity as they work with taxpayers.

Students can electronically prepare federal and state tax returns for eligible taxpayers but will not e-file tax returns. These students have completed a one-semester comprehensive tax course, have received additional training and have access to a variety of federal and state reference materials.

Taxpayers seeking assistance should bring proof of identification; Form W-2, "Wage and Tax Statement," from each employer; Forms 1099, for such things as interest or dividends; social security cards for taxpayer, spouse and dependents; a list of other income and expenses; Form 1098-T tuition payment statement; Form 1098-E student loan interest statement; a copy of last year's tax return; banking information (checkbook) if you want automatic deposit of refund; and all other information pertinent to the 2009 tax return. International students should also bring their passports, visas and Form 1042-S (Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding).

For more information, call the UNI Department of Accounting at (319) 273-2394.