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Jan. 30, 2014 Volume 35, No. 17

Free assistance for qualifying filers of 2013 tax returns

With the new year comes arrival of  a new tax season. 

On Tuesday, tax experts in the personal financial planning department in the College of Human Environmental Science opened the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites on campus. Locations are,

• 162 Stanley Hall. open 4:30-8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and on Saturdays 10 a.m.–1:30 p.m. 

• 5 Cornell Hall, open Mondays 4:30–8 p.m. 

VITA is an IRS-sponsored program that provides free tax preparation assistance for households earning less than $58,000.

Andrew Zumwalt, an MU Extension assistant professor in financial planning, said the VITA program not only helps participants file their taxes. It also provides MU students a great learning experience. 

Students who prepare the taxes have been through an IRS training and received certification, he said.

Joining the team from the Department of Personal Financial Planning are IRS-certified students from the MU School of Law.

Zumwalt does not anticipate special problems arising for filers of their 2013 tax returns. He said it is a good time for filers to get back to the basics.

“Filers can take advantage of the relative stability in the tax code to re-examine their tax brackets and whether they qualify for some of the basic tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. Trained volunteers at our VITA sites can help filers with all of these issues,” he said.

In an effort to promote smart financial decisions by Missourians throughout the state, MU Extension has declared February “Missouri Saves Month.”