UA Little Rock hosts VITA program to help people file taxes for free

UALR sign at the entrance on S. University Dr near University Plaza on January 28, 2016.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock will run a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program for the second year in a row to assist members of the public and the campus community 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, non-residents, 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. However, they are unable to prepare tax returns for individuals who are self employed or contribute to a health savings account.

Tax preparation and filing assistance will be available on a walk-in basis every Wednesday through April 3 from 1-6:30 p.m. in Reynolds Business Center Room 104. The center will be closed on March 20 due to spring break.

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, members of the public 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 2018.

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.

Members of UA Little Rock’s Beta Alpha Psi started the VITA program at UA Little Rock last year after learning about it at a conference in 2016. Students who are participating as volunteer tax preparers, led by Student Coordinator James Hubbard III, a senior accounting major from Wabbaseka, include Mikayla Corbitt, Joe Griffith, Christina Gu, Jessalyn Jackson, Daniel Nwachuku, Simranjit Kaur, Taylor Lemus, Hitaxiben Patel, and Katie You, as well as alumnus Dave’cia Randall.

For more information, contact the VITA program at ualittlerockvita@gmail.com or 870-575-3638.

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