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VITA program offers area residents free assistance with tax returns

MONMOUTH, Ill. – Beginning Feb. 3, Monmouth College’s free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program will once again be available to area residents.

Through April 14, Monmouth accounting students and faculty will be on hand in the College’s Center for Science and Business to help local community members file their 2017 tax returns.

The free service – which assists taxpayers in filing state and federal individual income tax returns – is provided in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service. Accounting Professor Judy Peterson, coordinator of Monmouth’s program, said VITA has a two-fold purpose: service and education for the community, and citizenship and education for the students.

Sessions will be held on most Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays between Feb. 3-April 14. VITA will not be available during the College’s spring and Easter breaks: March 3, 5, 7, 10 and 31, and April 2.

Saturday sessions are scheduled from 9 a.m.-noon and from 1-4 p.m. Monday and Wednesday sessions will be held from 4-7 p.m.

Located in the 700 block of East Broadway, the Center for Science and Business is handicap accessible. Taxpayers should use the building’s main south entrance, and signs will guide them to the correct interview room.

On evenings and weekends, parking is available in the Center for Science and Business lot and along Broadway. Before 5 p.m., taxpayers are asked to park on Broadway.

To be eligible to participate in the program, taxpayers must have a maximum annual income of $62,000 for single filers and $99,000 for joint filers.

“We will let you know if your tax return items are within the parameters of the VITA program,” said Peterson, who has overseen VITA since it started at Monmouth in 2000. “VITA does not prepare complicated returns.”

Peterson is assisted in her direction of the program by accounting department colleague Connie Mersch.

Questions, including what to bring to a VITA session, can be answered by visiting Questions can also be emailed to