AU to offer free tax preparation assistance March 15 and 29

VITA Program

Aurora University students work on a client's tax returns during the first session of the 2013 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program.

As the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program opens its 13th season this weekend, faculty and staff in the Aurora University Dunham School of Business look forward to another year of serving the community. Since AU introduced the VITA Program in 2002, AU tax preparers have helped generate more than $3 million in refunds for local taxpayers and saved them an estimated $500,000 in tax-preparation fees.

The annual event is a helpful opportunity for local community members who receive high quality tax preparation at no charge, but also serves as beneficial training for AU students.

“Students are able to get hands-on experience, which could not be duplicated through case studies or a simulation,” said Tim Moran, Associate Professor of Accounting.

The AU Vita Program has been commended by the IRS with a Community Service Leadership Award for the accuracy and volume in income tax preparation, and an example of the program is included on the IRS national best practices list.

“As students interview for accounting positions, potential employers are asking them if they were involved in the VITA program,” said Moran. “It is helpful because students from our program are being supervised in much the same way they would in an accounting firm and really know how to prepare taxes.”

The VITA Program takes place Saturday, March 15 and Saturday, March 29 from 8:00-11:00 a.m. in the Dunham Hall lobby.

The free service, including e-filing, is available to low-income, elderly and disabled residents earning up to $50,000 on a walk-in basis. No reservations are accepted. Bilingual college students will provide translation assistance for Spanish-speaking taxpayers.

Taxpayers should bring copies of personal documents, including Social Security card, driver’s license, 2013 W2s and other tax statements, state and federal 2012 returns, voided check, 2013 real-estate tax statement and childcare provider identification. Call 630-844-7557 or e-mail au-vita@aurora.edu for more information.