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Free Tax Assistance (VITA)

Back-to-back tax tips – good indication that it’s that time of year again. Numerous resources are available to assist the majority of taxpayers with free tax preparation assistance as well as free electronic filing of tax forms.

Resources

At the University of Missouri, students in the Personal Financial Planning Department and University of Missouri Extension Faculty have partnered to sponsor several community VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) sites as well as a campus site (that will be housed in the Office for Financial Success). These IRS-certified volunteers will prepare tax returns for students and working individuals/families with incomes under $40,000. The returns are prepared and filed electronically with the opportunity to have refunds direct deposited into checking, savings, IRAs, and other types of accounts (up to three) – see last week’s tip for more information. This is a great resource to help consumers avoid preparation fees and costly refund anticipation loans. This filing also includes your state returns and everything is done at no cost! Services will begin next Monday – January 29th. Walk-ins only – no appointments needed. Locations and availability are provided below.

Additional Tax Helps

Additional information on tax issues is available at the OFS site. Information available includes:

  • Current tax info (standard deductions, exemptions, tax brackets, etc.)
  • Information on deducting student loan interest
  • Do I have to file? [normally is worthwhile even if you “don’t have to”]
  • Information on earned income tax credit
  • Information on education tax benefits
  • Tax forms
  • Link for free online filing (AGI below $52,000)
  • Tax tips, recent law changes, and other tax topics
  • “Understanding Taxes” – an interactive, instructional IRS tax program

Getting FREE Assistance

Free volunteer tax preparation sites are available across the country. VITA locations are available in most communities as is AARP locations for the elderly. Missouri VITA sites can be found by clicking here… The VITA link above can help you locate VITA sites if you live outside Missouri. Andrew Zumwalt is the University contact for VITA.

Columbia Locations (1/29 – 4/14/07)

*MU Location
OFS – 61 Stanley Hall (basement)
Tuesday & Wednesday (4:30 – 8:00), Saturday (10:00 – 1:30)

*Bank of Missouri
3610 Buttonwood Drive
Monday (4:30 – 8:00) FEBRUARY ONLY

*Central Missouri Community Action
400 Wilkes
Monday & Wednesday (10:00 – 1:30)

1500 Vandiver
Friday (10:00 – 1:30)

*All sites closed March 24 – April 1 (Spring Break).