Accounting Student Volunteers Offer Free Online Tax Preparation Clinics
The 2021 tax year introduced new elements to this year’s income tax filing season due to economic relief efforts resulting from the pandemic, including economic impact payments, the child tax credit and student loan relief. Through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, Creighton University accounting student volunteers are available to provide their expertise and offer free tax preparation services in February and March to qualifying individuals and students.
VITA clinics are an IRS initiative in which Creighton has participated in the Omaha community for more than 40 years. Starting Feb. 5 and continuing through March 26, students will offer six, in-person Saturday clinics from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Mike & Josie Harper Center on the Creighton campus. Virtual meetings via Zoom will also be offered in tandem at the following events:
- February 5: Harper Center – Rooms 2075, 2077 and 2079
- February 12: Harper Center – Rooms 2075, 2077 and 2079
- February 19: Harper Center Ballroom
- February 26: Harper Center Ballroom
- March 19: Harper Center – Rooms 2075, 2077 and 2079
- March 26: Harper Center Ballroom
Masks are required on the Creighton campus.
The clinics are available to individuals who have annual income less than $58,000 and need help preparing their federal and state tax returns. Students, in addition to individuals with disabilities or who speak limited English, also are invited to use this free service.
“The program is mutually beneficial as it gives our accounting students the opportunity to apply lessons learned in the Principles of Taxation class on tax rules, applicable tax credits and deductions to make a difference in the lives of people in their community,” said Tom Purcell, PhD, CPA, professor of Accounting in the Creighton University Department of Accounting and Business Intelligence and Analytics.
VITA clinics will not require an appointment. Participants can join the Zoom meeting at a time that is most convenient during any of the six Saturday clinics after having uploaded tax documentation through their personal Google drive folder. Information to access Google Drive can be found online .
Tax preparation services will be provided to virtual attendees in the order they are received. Tax documentation will need to be uploaded by participants prior to joining the Zoom meeting.
Instructions for securely uploading tax documentation to a personal Google Drive folder and filing instructions are available online. Volunteers will be able to assist those who encounter difficulties with the Google approach or who may not have access to the internet.
People who would like to participate in the program this but did not file their taxes through VITA last year should have their 2020 income tax return available.