BU student group offers tax-filing help

BLOOMSBURG – The Student Accounting Association at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania is providing free tax help to individuals and families from Columbia and Montour counties through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program.

Help will be available from 4 to 8 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from today through April 9 at Wesley United Methodist Church, 130 W. Third St. The site will be closed March 17, 18 and 19.

Volunteers, trained and certified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), will prepare and e-file federal, state and local income tax returns at no cost for low- to moderate-income residents and those age 60 and older.

Volunteer training included the earned income tax credit, the child tax credit and the credit for the elderly or the disabled.

Taxpayers should bring wage and earnings statements for all employers, known as a W-2 form; interest statements from banks, form 1099; proof of identification for the taxpayer, his or her spouse and any dependents; a copy of last year’s tax return; a blank check or other proof of bank account routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit; and any other relevant income and expense information.

For those filing jointly, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms and provide proof of identification, such as a Social Security card or photo ID. Federal refunds generally are received within seven to 10 business days when returns are filed electronically and in conjunction with direct deposit with a bank account.

Walk-ins are welcome or taxpayers may use the drop-off service to receive a completed tax return in about a week. Appointments may be scheduled by calling 570-759-1005.

To learn more about the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, visit the IRS website or contact Gabriel Genovese, BU accounting instructor, at 570-389-5234 or ggenoves@bloomu.edu.