Students volunteer as tax assistants

Students volunteer as tax assistants

Senior and graduate accounting students from Montana State University College of Business will offer free tax help on Tuesdays beginning Feb. 7, 2006 for MSU students and individuals who made less than $38,000 last year, according to Anne Christensen, professor of accounting at MSU.

Assistance with basic federal and Montana income tax returns is offered from 6:30-9 p.m. Tuesdays (with the exception of March 14) through April 4 and Thursday, March 9 and March 23, in room 302 of Reid Hall on the MSU campus. Currently, Christensen is training the volunteers so they will be prepared and ready for tax season. She said each volunteer has completed one or more tax courses and has received additional classroom training related to low income taxpayers. They also passed an IRS exam on preparing tax returns.

The MSU volunteers are participating in an Internal Revenue Service Program known as Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). VITA provides opportunities for accounting students to learn how to prepare tax returns and apply their knowledge to a wide range of tax issues while learning the value of volunteering in the community.

No appointment is necessary. Individuals interested in free tax help should bring their 2005 tax packages, W-2 forms, interest statements, 2004 tax returns, other tax documents and a photo id.

International students may attend any tax seminar beginning February 21, and should bring with them their W-2, 1042S and 1098T forms.

The MSU VITA program is sponsored by the College of Business and Beta Alpha Psi.