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MC to again offer free tax preparation through VITA

Monmouth College students work on tax returns in 2012.
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For the 14th year, Monmouth College will offer computerized tax preparation and e-filing (federal and state) at no cost to the taxpayer, beginning in February. This service is provided in cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program.
Professor Judy Peterson, coordinator of MC’s program, said VITA has a two-fold purpose: service and education for the community, and citizenship and education for the students. She also noted an important change that will affect the early stages of this year’s program.
“Only those taxpayers earning $51,000 or less may come the first weeks (Feb. 2 – 16),” she said. “Others with higher incomes may start coming on Feb. 18. We will let you know if your return items are within the parameters of the VITA program, as our student volunteers do not prepare complicated returns.”
All ages of taxpayers are served, from students through retirees. Taxpayers who use the VITA sites are strongly encouraged to e-file, as they can expect quicker response to their filings, and the IRS can reduce its processing costs.
Assistant professor of accounting Connie Mersch will assist Peterson in coordinating the program. Mersch, who joined MC’s faculty in 2011, spent several years working in the tax departments of various distinguished companies.
Beginning Feb. 2, the tax preparation will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at two locations: the lower level of the college’s Wallace Hall and the Warren County Public Library. The library will be staffed by VITA volunteers on four Saturdays: Feb. 9, Feb. 23, March 23 and April 13, all from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
All other sessions will be conducted at the college. Weekdays sessions will be held 4 – 7 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays through April 15 (except March 11, March 13 and April 1) and two Thursdays (Feb. 7 and 14). Saturday sessions at the college will be held 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Feb. 2, Feb. 16, March 2 and April 6.