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Free Tax Assistance

It’s that time of year again. Once 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 (located in the Office for Financial Success; Stanley Hall). 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 directly deposited into checking, savings, IRAs, and other types of accounts (see tip – http://financialsuccess.missouri.edu/tipoftheweek/refundsplitting.pdf). 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 on February 4th. Walk-ins only – no appointments needed. [Locations and availability info are provided below] …

ADDITIONAL TAX HELPS

The following informational tools and resources are available at the tax section of the OFS site (financialsuccess.missouri.edu/taxhome.htm):

  • Current tax info (standard deductions, exemptions, tax brackets, etc.)
  • Information on deducting student loan interest
  • Do I have to file? [typically worthwhile even if you “don’t have to”]
  • Information on earned income tax credit
  • Information on education tax benefits
  • Federal and State tax forms
  • Link for free online filing (AGI below $54,000)
  • Tax tips, recent law changes, and other tax topics
  • “Understanding Taxes” – an interactive, instructional IRS tax program

RECEIVING FREE ASSISTANCE

Free volunteer tax preparation sites are available across the country. VITA is available in most communities as is AARP for the elderly. VITA sites throughout Missouri can be located at: http://extension.missouri.edu/hes/taxed/vitasites.htm. The VITA link above can help you locate VITA sites for those outside Missouri. Andrew Zumwalt is the MU contact for VITA (ZumwaltA@missouri.edu).

Columbia Locations (2/4/08 – 4/19/08)

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

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

*Sites will be closed March 22 – March 30 (Spring Break).