Beginning Friday, Feb. 1, Northwest Indiana families with less than $40,000 annual income may take advantage of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program at the Indiana University Northwest School of Business and Economics. This service provides free electronic tax filings for federal and state returns.
To provide this popular service, the business school and the IU Northwest Accounting and Business Student Organization have teamed with Northwest Indiana Community Action and the Internal Revenue Service. Business and accounting students at IU Northwest are trained by faculty members and IRS representatives to prepare the tax returns. Students work directly with community members under the direction of faculty and IRS representatives.
Thus, students with IU Northwest’s AACSB-accredited business school receive practical, hands-on experience in tax preparation and customer service, while Northwest Indiana families are able to access free tax-preparation services. And, because the filing is electronic, most refunds are received by the end of the following week.
Families are asked to bring all form W-2’s, 1099’s, Social Security and government payment notices, and any other notices of income, mortgage interest, taxes paid, qualified tuition payments, contribution, rents paid, names and addresses of landlords, and any other tax-related information, as well as all family and dependent Social Security cards and birthdates.
VITA sessions will begin Friday, Feb. 1, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. in the Dunes Medical/Professional Building, located on the IU Northwest campus at 3400 Broadway in Gary, Ind., and will continue on Friday, Feb. 8, and Friday, Feb. 15, during the same hours. A Super Saturday session is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 16, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Regular Friday sessions are also scheduled for Feb. 29, March 7, March 21, March 28, April 4, and April 11.
Appointments are available by calling (219) 980-6552. Walk-ins are also welcome during VITA session hours. All tax filers are asked to check in at the School of Business and Economics office on the first floor of the Dunes Medical/Professional Building.
The IU Northwest VITA program is part of a coalition of government and nonprofit organizations that brought more than $3.5 million in federal tax refunds to Northwest Indiana last year. The School of Business and Economics also helps to train members of local nonprofit groups as tax preparers. Community partners from local banks and nonprofit organizations also are available to provide a range of free or low-cost services that benefit families in Northwest Indiana.
For more information on VITA, contact the IU Northwest School of Business and Economics at (219) 980-6552.