The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has opened a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program to help members of the campus community and the public file their taxes free of charge.
The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, people with disabilities, and limited English speaking taxpayers who need help preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.
Tax preparation and filing assistance will be available on a walk-in basis every Wednesday through April 4 (except during Spring Break on March 21) from 2-4:30 p.m. in Reynolds Business Center Room 104.
Taxpayers have an option to prepare their own free simple federal and state tax return using web-based tax preparation software using an onsite computer. To have a return prepared by a volunteer, participants should bring a valid photo identification, Social Security card, W-2s, 1099 forms, a copy of last year’s tax return, and any other information and forms concerning income and expenses for 2017.
Faculty members from the UA Little Rock Department of Accounting and students from the UA Little Rock Accounting Society and Beta Alpha Psi have been training for months to provide tax help for the public.
“We believe this service to UA Little Rock students, staff, faculty, and the general public will fill the needs of taxpayers who do not have the funds to pay for-profit tax preparers for simple returns,” said Cynthia Johnson, an accounting instructor in the College of Business and faculty advisor of the UA Little Rock VITA program.
Beta Alpha Psi members discovered the VITA program while attending a conference in 2016.
“A couple of the students trained and volunteered at a VITA center in downtown Little Rock during last year’s tax season to see how it works,” Johnson said. “Enough students were interested in training and volunteering this year that we decided we would be able to handle opening a center on campus. The students are getting really great experience dealing with real clients, and the taxpayers are receiving a very valuable service.”