Albany State University students to offer free tax-preparation help
College of Business students help families,
individuals prepare and file tax returns
ALBANY, Ga. – Albany State University College of Business students are preparing federal and state tax returns free of charge for local community members. The sessions aim to assist low-to-moderate income families and individuals and elderly citizens.
Appointments and drop-in sessions begin Feb. 5 and will last until April 14. Community members making $54,000 or less are encouraged to stop by the student-run tax workshops Monday – Thursday from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Peace Hall, room 122, on the ASU East Campus.
Alicia Jackson, dean of the College of Business, worked with students to ensure each student is Internal Revenue Service (IRS) certified. Students will complete tax returns for clients and guarantee that those who are filing will receive the earned income tax credit, if eligible. The certification is a part of each preparer’s College of Business internship requirement.
The student sessions are a part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program. TCE serves to address the needs of individuals 60 years and older who may have concerns about pensions or retirement in regards to tax preparation.
“If last year is any indication, our community seems to appreciate the capability, congeniality and professionalism of our students, in addition to having access to the free tax service,” Jackson said. “The VITA program also serves as a wonderful learning experience for our students and reinforces a skill set they can use personally and professionally.”
Prior to filing, all returns are reviewed by Jackson and Cakeitha Harris-Perry.. Harris-Perry is an ASU staff member and current College of Business student. She served as a professional tax preparer for H & R Block for 10 years.
According to the National Society of Accountants, the average tax prep fee is $176, for those with a 1040 and state return and no itemized deductions. With itemized deductions, the fee can exceed $450.
Those interested in attending a session should bring the following documents:
- Proof of identification (photo ID)
- Social Security cards for you, your spouse and dependents
- An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter may be substituted for you, your spouse and your dependents if you do not have a Social Security number
- Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN
- Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return
- Wage and earning statements (Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R,1099-Misc) from all employers
- Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
- Health Insurance Exemption Certificate, if received
- A copy of 2015 federal and state returns, if available
- Proof of bank account routing and account numbers for direct deposit such as a blank check
- To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms
- Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider's tax identification number such as their Social Security number or business Employer Identification Number
- Forms 1095-A, B and C, Health Coverage Statements
- Copies of income transcripts from IRS and state, if applicable
For more information about the Albany State VITA/TCE sessions or to schedule an appointment, contact Cakeitha Harris-Perry at (229) 430-2749 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the ASU College of Business, visit asurams.edu.