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April 15 is coming! ETSU business students offer free tax preparation assistance

staff report • Feb 28, 2013 at 12:11 PM

JOHNSON CITY — A group of East Tennessee State University business students, under the guidance of accountancy faculty member Anthony Masino, is offering free tax preparation assistance through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program.

As an approved VITA location, the ETSU group will assist taxpayers who had $51,000 or less in income during 2012 and who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. ETSU students, staff, faculty and the general public are invited to participate.

The ETSU VITA site will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in room 318 of Sam Wilson Hall on Saturdays March 9, 23, and April 6.

In addition to free basic income tax return preparation and electronic filing, volunteers can inform taxpayers about special tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled. Also, those who do not have access to a computer may visit the ETSU VITA site and an IRS-certified volunteer will guide them through the tax return process.

Those who wish to use this service must bring the following information:

• Picture ID.

• Social Security cards for the taxpayer, spouse and dependents or a Social Security Number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number assignment letter for the taxpayer, spouse and dependents.

• Proof of foreign status.

• Birth dates for the taxpayer, spouse and dependents on the tax return.

• Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R or 1099-Misc from all employers.

• Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099).

• A copy of last year’s federal and state returns, if available.

• Proof of bank account routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit, such as a blank check.

• Total paid to a daycare provider and the daycare provider’s tax identification number (the provider’s Social Security Number or the provider’s business Employer Identification Number), if appropriate.

To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-jointly tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms

For more information, call Masino at (423) 439-4432 or e-mail masino@etsu.edu.

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