IU volunteers will once again assist with tax preparation for qualifying households

Members of the Indiana University and Monroe County communities will once again have a free resource for tax preparation as students from the Maurer School of Law, Kelley School of Business, and School of Public and Environmental Affairs participate in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

Households with incomes under $54,000 are eligible for the services, which begin February 5 and end on March 27. The filing deadline is April 15.

“VITA is a tremendous resource for the local community,” said Leandra Lederman, William W. Oliver Professor of Tax Law and director of the Law School’s tax program. “Qualifying taxpayers receive assistance from trained students, and students gain extraordinary first-hand experience helping those who need it. It’s a great program that benefits everyone involved.”

In 2018, more than 50 VITA volunteers provided approximately 70 hours’ worth of tax preparation sessions, culminating in the assistance with more than 700 tax returns, said VITA site coordinator and Indiana Law student Matthew Metz.

“Over the years we’ve been able to help thousands of people file their federal and state taxes at no expense to them,” Metz said, “and that’s a testament to the strong dedication of our volunteers and faculty who believe so much in this project.”

Qualifying taxpayers may seek VITA help:

  • On Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Indiana University Maurer School of Law’s Baier Hall, 211 South Indiana Avenue, beginning February 5 and ending March 27, from 6 to 9 p.m. VITA services will not be available on March 12 and 13, which is during IU’s spring break.
  • On Saturdays at the Kelley School of Business’ Hodge Hall, 1309 East 10th Street, Room HH2057, on March 2, March 23, and March 30. Those sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Taxpayers will be assisted on a first-come, first-served basis; individual appointments are not available. Individuals who live in Monroe County wishing to participate are encouraged to come early to ensure assistance can be provided.

Taxpayers must bring relevant tax documents to the walk-in clinic: a W-2, photo identification, Social Security card and documents from other income sources. Filers must also bring the Social Security cards for any dependents they want to claim. If taxpayers are filing jointly, both spouses must be present. You can learn more about what to bring with you here.

Copies of last year's tax returns aren't required but are helpful to tax preparers. Non-U.S. citizens should bring their passports and immigration paperwork. Contact indianauniversityvita@gmail.com with questions.

Metz noted that households with an income less than $66,000 in 2018 can use My Free Taxes to complete their returns. Although VITA services are not available to international students, VITA volunteers have been working with the IU Office of International Services to provide a mechanism to allow international students to file their federal and state taxes free of charge. Qualifying students should receive information about that soon from OIS.

For more information, visit the VITA website.