Accounting Students Provide Free Income Tax Preparation Assistance

Monday, February 20, 2017

Fairmont State University Accounting students are providing free income tax preparation assistance in four counties and receiving real-life experience to benefit them in their future careers.

Accounting students are once again offering IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) tax preparation services in Fairmont, Mannington, Monongah, Clarksburg, Kingwood, Bruceton Mills and Parsons. The VITA program, which is supervised by Dr. T. Jean Engebretson, provides free basic tax return preparation for eligible taxpayers. VITA provides students with hands-on learning about income tax preparation and real experience working with tax clients.

“The VITA program is an effective community outreach service of the School of Business. The students work long hours and travel to many locations to provide this free service. Their level of expertise and professionalism is routinely praised by the participants. The goodwill generated for the School of Business is immeasurable,” said Dr. Richard Harvey, Dean of the School of Business.

In 2013, the West Virginia Alliance for Sustainable Families presented Fairmont State University with its Higher Education Partner of the Year Award to honor volunteer service by the FSU School of Business and its VITA program.

Student volunteers have a responsibility to provide high quality service and uphold the highest of ethical standards. The student volunteers receive training and certification from the IRS to help prepare basic tax returns in North Central West Virginia communities. Many taxpayers return each year and refer their friends and neighbors to the FSU VITA program.

The Fairmont State VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries and other convenient and public locations. The service includes free electronic filing. To view the complete VITA schedule of dates and locations, visit http://www.fairmontstate.edu/schoolofbusiness/academics/vita-income-tax-.... For more information, call (304) 367-4261.

Appointments are not taken; walk-ins are welcome. Those who wish to participate should arrive at least one hour prior to closing time. Returns are prepared on a first-come, first-served basis. The number of returns prepared may be limited. Those who wish to participate should bring a photo ID for the taxpayer and spouse, Social Security cards for every person listed on the return and medical insurance information.

The IRS offers free tax preparation software with certain limitations for those who would prefer to prepare their own tax returns. For more information, visit MyFreeTaxes.com, powered by H&R Block, or call 1-855-My-Tx-Help.