Free tax assistance available

February 6, 2012 Latest Print Print
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Starting Feb. 6, OCCC will host a service that offers students and the general public help on their taxes every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday until April 17.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program is for qualified taxpayers looking for guidance on their 2012 tax return preparation and filings.

“The VITA program offers free tax help to low- to moderate-income (generally, $50,000 and below) people who cannot prepare their own tax returns,” according to the IRS website.

The VITA program also will offer assistance with various forms of tax credit such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled.

Marcy Roll, Student Life assistant, said the VITA program has a long history with OCCC, having visited the campus for the past 17 years.

Roll advises students to sign up as soon as possible.

“Depending on how many volunteers are present, the wait for assistance will vary,” she said.

According to a flier advertising the VITA program, sign-up for assistance will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Those interested will need to bring last year’s (2010) tax return form, W2 forms from all employers, a Social Security card for everyone included on the return and a driver’s license.

Chase Bartlett, OCCC student, said he’s impressed with the income tax help offered at the college.

“This program is especially good if the person is a first timer or has no clue what they’re doing, much like myself two years ago,” Bartlett said.

“At first doing your taxes is intimidating. There’s a lot of stuff to fill out and it’s stressful because every single thing has to be done correctly.”

Roll said VITA volunteers will be on the first floor of the Main Building outside the Student Life office at Main Bulding 3 entry.

“It’s first-come, first-served, so you should get out there early,” she said.

The VITA program uses certified volunteers representing multiple organizations, according to the IRS website.

“Each year hundreds of thousands of returns are delayed in processing or credit/deductions are disallowed because names and Social Security numbers do not match Social Security Administration records.

To prevent processing delays in paper returns and rejected electronically filed returns, volunteers check the accuracy of each Social Security number, as well as the spelling of the name associated with the number,” according to the IRS.

For more information, visit www.irs.gov and look for the link to VITA or www.irs.gov/individuals/students.

To contact Morgan Beard, email pioneergraphics@occc.edu.

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