PULLMAN, Wash. – Qualifying residents in Eastern Washington can get free online help with federal tax returns through the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA).

Washington State University moved its student-led VITA program online after the pandemic forced the closure of many in-person sites. Whitworth University’s VITA program in Spokane, which was also affected by in-person site closures, has joined forces to provide tax volunteers through WSU’s online site.

“We are so pleased to have this cooperation between WSU and Whitworth to help our neighbors in the region prepare their federal tax returns,” said Jeff Gramlich, WSU accounting professor and advisor of the WSU student-led VITA program.

“Many of the individuals we serve qualify for refunds, which are especially important this year,” said Haobo Yang, WSU’s VITA club president. “The pandemic has had a negative effect on so many people financially.”

The program is open to U.S. citizens and resident alien taxpayers with relatively uncomplicated tax returns. To qualify for the free assistance, individuals must generally earn $57,000 or less. The program is also a resource for taxpayers with disabilities or limited English-speaking abilities.

All program volunteers are IRS certified. The VITA program operates from noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays through April 3. To make an appointment visit the VITA website.

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