The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in the Carson College of Business is again offering free tax help to community members in Pullman and Vancouver.
The nonprofit student organization assists qualifying taxpayers with federal income tax returns. All program volunteers are certified by the Internal Revenue Service. Some Pullman volunteers have had additional training to work with international students, which is a new feature this year, said Joshua Roeder, the Pullman club president.
“We wanted to assist more students, and we knew this would benefit more people in our community,” said Roeder, an accounting major.
The WSU VITA program is sponsored by the Howard D. and B. Phyllis Hoops Institute of Taxation Research and Policy within the Carson College’s Department of Accounting.
The program is open to U.S. citizens and resident alien taxpayers with relatively uncomplicated tax returns. To qualify for free assistance, individuals must generally earn $57,000 or less. The program is also available to taxpayers with disabilities or limited English-speaking abilities.
VITA is an important resource for low- and middle-income retirees and families, including those with children who qualify for the earned income credit.
In Pullman, volunteers have helped 26 people file tax returns, with an average refund of $1,200. At WSU Vancouver, the student-run VITA program – which currently focuses on domestic taxpayers – has assisted more than 100 community members.