BU accounting students offer tax help through volunteer program

For immediate release: Feb. 6, 2007

BLOOMSBURG — The Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Student Accounting Association will offer free tax help to residents of Columbia and Montour counties through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistant Program (VITA). Help is available from Monday, Feb. 19, to Tuesday, April 17, every Monday through Wednesday, with the exception of March 12 and 14. Students will be available from 4 to 8 p.m. at Wesley United Methodist Church, 130 W. Third Street, Bloomsburg.

Volunteers will provide free electronic filing for low- to moderate-income people and people age 60 and older who cannot prepare their own federal or Pennsylvania income tax returns. Special help is available for non-resident alien filers.

Volunteers will also provide information on the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the largest federal program for working families. In the past, more than 748,000 Pennsylvanians have claimed the EITC, which brought back nearly 1.3 billion dollars to local communities, according to Blair Staley, associate professor of accounting at Bloomsburg University.

Taxpayers seeking help should bring this year's tax package, wage and earnings statement for all employers (Form W-2), interest statements from banks (Form 1099), a copy of last year's tax returns and other relevant income and expense information.

For more information on VITA, contact Staley at (570) 389-4392.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Professional Studies, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.