VITA program offers free tax service

VITA program offers free tax service

Anne Christensen, professor of accounting at Montana State University Bozeman College of Business, was quite busy earlier this semester training 34 senior and graduate level accounting business students tax preparation. After eight hours of training, textbook studies and taking an exam, the students are now prepared to offer free tax help for other MSU students and individuals who made less than $35,000 last year.

With the exception of March 12, the service will be offered every Wed. through April 5, from 6:30 - 9 p.m in room 401 Reid Hall on Montana State University-Bozeman campus.

The students are participants of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, an Internal Revenue Service program. VITA provides opportunities to train accounting students how to prepare taxes, apply the knowledge they learn in the classrooms, gain the experience of working on wide ranges of tax issues and learn the value of volunteering in the community they live in. They will also earn an accounting credit.

There is no appointment necessary and individuals interested in free tax help should bring their 2002 tax packages, W-2 forms, interest statements, 2001 tax returns and other tax documents. International students should attend one of the tax seminars for non-resident aliens on March 18 and 19, from 5:30-9 p.m.. in room 104 Reid Hall. They are requested to bring their W-2s, 1042S and 1098T form.

In addition to the MSU students volunteering on campus, other trained VITA volunteers are available at the Bozeman Library, 220 E. Lamme, on Wed. from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. by appointment only and at the Bozeman Senior Social Center, 807 N. Tracy on Mon. from 1 - 4 p.m. without appointments and by appointment on Sat. For information or appointment at the Senior Center call 586-2421 and for the library call 586-6641.