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Drury U., MSU students offer free tax assistance in Springfield MO

February 07, 2011|by Jay Scherder, KY3 News | jscherder@ky3.com

SPRINGFIELD, Mo -- Drury University students will provide free tax preparation through an IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site.  The tax preparation service is open to the public and is designed to benefit low-income and senior taxpayers.

Taxpayers are asked to bring all W-2 forms, 1099 forms, Social Security cards of dependents and a copy of their 2009 return with them to the site to help speed up the filing process. The VITA site is located in the Breech School of Business Administration at the corner of Central Street and Drury Lane.

Drury students will also offer tax preparation at Deliverance Temple located at 2101 W. Chestnut Expressway and at Willard South Elementary 4151 West Division Street. Free tax preparation will be available at the following dates, times and locations.

Drury University dates:

Monday, February 7, 4 - 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 12, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 19, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 26, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 28, 4 - 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 5, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Monday, March 7, 4 - 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 12, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Monday, March 14, 4 - 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 19, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Monday, March 28, 4 - 7 p.m.

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Deliverance Temple Dates:

Sunday, Feb. 13, 1 - 5 p.m.
Sunday, March 13, 1 - 5 p.m.

Willard South Elementary Dates:

Wednesday, Feb. 9, 4 - 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 16, 4 - 7 p.m.

The tax service is walk-in only. No appointments are taken. Patrons are assisted on a first-come, first-serve basis.  To allow all returns to be completed by the closing time of the site, new patrons who arrive less than one hour before site closing will be asked to visit another site.

All returns will be filed electronically unless the IRS requires a manual return. All taxpayers must be available to sign the appropriate forms in the case of joint returns. Taxpayers seeking assistance may call 873-7522 for the schedule and directions.
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SPRINGFIELD – As part of the public affairs mission at Missouri State University, students from the School of Accountancy will be available to assist individuals with free tax preparation, e-filing and to answer questions about other tax issues as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and the Low Income Tax Clinic (LITC). Assistance will be available through April 15 at scheduled times in Glass Hall on the Missouri State campus and at various locations around Springfield for 2010 tax preparation. Year-round assistance is also available for other tax issues.

“Our students do the tax assistance because they like to help people, they learn a lot and it helps meet our public affairs mission,” said Sandra Byrd, professor in the School of Accountancy and director of the Public Service Tax Clinic.  “Last year, working with other Across The Life Span (ATLS) program volunteers, we e-filed over 7,000 tax returns for clients in southwest Missouri who received back almost two million dollars in refunds. It’s a very large tax assistance program.”

The VITA program offers assistance via both walk-in clinics and by appointment. The program is open to taxpayers with incomes under $50,000 per year, older adults and taxpayers who speak English as a second language. A complete list of scheduled times and locations for walk-in assistance is available online at www.missouristate.edu/soa, by dialing 211 or calling (800) 427-4626.  To schedule a specific appointment, call (417) 864-0030.

“This year we will also have computers available where our students can assist clients with incomes up to $58,000 to use the IRS free-file option,” said Byrd. “The other new thing is a pre-paid debit card option available for clients who don’t have an opportunity to do direct deposit. The card will arrive by mail at about the same time the IRS puts the money on it, so it’s a good opportunity for people to get their refund back more quickly.”

LITC services are available by appointment only. The LITC offers assistance for special tax issues and controversies including: issues with prior tax returns; liens or levies; compromises; “currently not collectible” status; or understanding letters from the IRS. In order to be eligible for LITC assistance, a taxpayer’s income cannot be more than 250 percent of the poverty level. To schedule an appointment for LITC assistance, call (417) 836-3007.

The VITA and LITC programs are made possible through assistance from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Community Partnership of the Ozarks and in collaboration with community partners. For more information, contact Byrd at (417) 836-4181.

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