The Kate Tiedemann College of Business partnered with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program to offer tax-preparation assistance to the community.
Students who volunteer with the college, and community members, can sign up for the training session to take place Jan. 21.
Training will be held in the new Lynn Pippenger Hall, room 217 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Training will cover how to electronically file taxes, and count towards university credit to satisfy business course requirements.
Information will also be provided regarding other volunteer positions, such as greeters and translators. All volunteers will be applicable to receive community service hours.
The VITA program is designed to connect people of the community with IRS service members and trained individuals to prepare tax documents. They aim to assist individuals who fall within a determined income, which fluctuates depending on the area of residence.
For citizens of St. Petersburg, the income limit to receive tax preparation assistance is $64,000 annually.
The program also provides help for individuals with disabilities, limited English proficiency, and community seniors who may require additional help or counseling with electronic tax filing systems.
Nathan Wadlinger (pictured above,) a campus tax instructor, will direct the tax preparation service. This is the first year Wadlinger will lead the program since the former founder seceded his direction of the service.
The founder and former director, James Fellows, holds a doctorate in Economics. Fellows began the collaboration in 2009 with only six student interns, he retired in the summer of last year. This year he will help as a community volunteer to continue working with students.
Under Wadlinger’s new direction, the College of Business plans on increasing the number of training dates and introducing night sessions to allow for volunteers to attend after work.
“It’s a free service, volunteers get community service [hours], and it will look good on a resume for business students to get valuable face time with clients,” said Wadlinger.
Tax-filing services run from the end of January into April, with the busiest dates trending towards the beginning of tax season as people file in to receive a faster refund. Events will be held at different times throughout a number of different sites. To find the nearest location, community members may visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov/vita and select the VITA/TCE Locator Tool at the bottom of the page.
“This is a great service for a lot of elderly taxpayers,” said Wadlinger, who added that students could also benefit by receiving help with their taxes.
People who are interested in participating in the program and would like more information on how to become a volunteer, have questions regarding the service, or on how to find a local site may contact Wadlinger through his email at email@example.com.
All locations are expected to be known by the end of January.
Jan. 14: Free training for tax prep in LPH 217
Jan. 21: Free training for tax prep in LPH 217
April 18: Tax Day, and standard deadline for tax season