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Free tax assistance offered by UNI accounting students

January 27, 2003

Dennis Schmidt, professor of accounting, (319) 273-2394
Gwenne Culpepper, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Free income tax assistance will be offered this year at the University of Northern Iowa through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Approximately 50 senior and graduate accounting students will provide the assistance.

The program will run from Feb. 3 through April 14, excluding the week of March 17. Sessions are Mondays and Wednesdays from 4 to 5 p.m. in Room 224 of the Curris Business Building.

VITA was established by the Internal Revenue Service to help people who may not be able to afford professional tax assistance. According to Dennis Schmidt, UNI professor of accounting and program coordinator, the program also provides accounting students an experiential learning opportunity as they work with people in actual income tax situations.

Students will be available to prepare federal and state tax returns and answer tax questions. These students have completed a one-semester comprehensive tax course, have received additional training, and have access to a variety of federal and state reference materials.

Those seeking tax assistance should bring wage and earnings statements from their employers (Form W-2), interest statements from banks (Form 1099-INT), dividend statements from corporations and mutual funds (Form 1099-DIV), copies of last year's tax returns (if available), social security numbers for themselves and any dependents, and any other relevant information concerning 2002 income and expenses.

No appointment is necessary. For more information, contact Dennis Schmidt, program coordinator, at (319) 273-2394.