Student group offers tax-filing help

For Immediate Release: Feb. 1, 2016

BLOOMSBURG — Bloomsburg University's Student Accounting Association is again providing free tax help to low- to moderate-income individuals and families through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. IRS-certified volunteers will provide free basic income tax preparation with electronic filing to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and others who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns.

There is a new location this year. Assistance will be available from 4 to 8 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from Feb. 8 to April 6 at The Greenly Center, 50 E. Main St., Bloomsburg. The site will be closed March 7, 8 and 9 for Spring Break.  Also new this year, assistance will be available on two Saturdays — Feb. 27 and March 19 — at Wesley United Methodist Church, 130 W. Third St., Bloomsburg.

Volunteers, trained and certified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), will prepare and e-file federal, state and local income tax returns at no cost for eligible taxpayers. Volunteer training included the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, Education Credits, and the Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled.

Taxpayers should bring wage and earnings statements for all employers, known as Form W-2; interest statements from banks, Form 1099; proof of identification for the taxpayer, his or her spouse and any dependents; a copy of last year’s tax return; a blank check or other proof of bank account routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit; and any other relevant income and expense information.

For those filing jointly, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms and provide proof of identification, such as a Social Security card and photo ID. Federal refunds generally are received within seven to 10 business days when returns are filed electronically and in conjunction with direct deposit.

Walk-ins are welcome or taxpayers may use the drop-off service to receive a completed tax return in about a week. The VITA telephone number is 570-389-3749.

To learn more about the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, visit the IRS website or contact Gabriel Genovese, BU accounting instructor, at 570-389-5234 or ggenoves@bloomu.edu.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 10,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.