University offers free tax preparation services

With the assistance of Associate Professor of Accounting Steven Day, Dixie State University students help community members prepare to file their tax forms as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program in 2016. The Dixie State Department of Accounting will offer income tax preparation assistance again this year beginning Tuesday through April 11. Photo courtesy of Keshara Bjorkman/Dixie State University, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Starting Tuesday, Dixie State University accounting students will offer qualifying community members free income tax preparation services on specified days through April 11.

Sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, or VITA, and Five County Association of Governments in Southern Utah, the program is designed to assist low-income and middle-income individuals of all ages on a wide range of tax return scenarios and to provide hands-on experience to students.

Due to IRS restrictions, taxpayers who own businesses, have rental properties, have significant gains or losses on stocks or have a Schedule K-1 on their tax returns are not be eligible for preparation services through VITA.

Tax preparation services will be offered from 4-8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Dixie State’s Ernö and Etel Udvar-Hazy School of Business building, 300 South and 1000 East, St. George. Services will be provided through April 11 but will not be available the week of Dixie State’s spring break, March 13-17.

Those wishing to have their taxes filed should bring the following items:

  • Photo ID.
  • Social Security cards for each individual appearing on tax returns.
  • Wage and earning statements (Form W-2) from all employers.
  • Affordable-Care-Act documents (such as forms 1095-A, 1095-B, 1095-C).
  • Form SSA-1099 (showing Social Security benefits).
  • All types of 1099 forms.
  • 1099-B forms (accompanied by documentation showing the original asset purchase prices and sales proceeds).
  • Form 1098 (documenting mortgage interest, mortgage insurance payments and property tax payments).
  • Documentation to verify medical expenses, charitable contributions, child care payments and any other relevant documentation related to income and deductions.
  • A copy of their 2015 tax return.
  • Bank account and bank routing numbers (both of these can be found on a check; these numbers will be used for automatic deposit of federal and state tax refunds into clients’ checking accounts).

Taxpayers’ completed federal and state returns will be e-filed, free of charge, to the IRS and the applicable states. Clients with multistate filing needs can be accommodated.

In addition to benefitting the community, VITA allows students, who are certified by the IRS and supervised by Dixie State faculty who are certified public accountants with IRS certification, to gain hands-on learning experience.

“The VITA program has helped our students become engaged in the learning process and has deepened their higher-level learning skills like critical thinking,” university Accounting Department Chair Nate Staheli said. “We have assisted many families with tax refunds to help them with financial needs. In addition, we have and will continue to create a bond with our community because of the service we provide.”

Event details

  • What: Free tax preparation services for qualifying individuals through the VITA and Five County Association of Governments program.
  • When: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-8 p.m. Feb. 7-April 11, excepting the week of March 13.
  • Where: Dixie State University’s Ernö and Etel Udvar-Hazy School of Business building, 300 South and 1000 East, St. George.
  • Cost: Free.
  • More info: Dixie State’s Vita Free Tax Prep webpage | Email vitainfo@dixie.edu.

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