Saturday 28 Mar 2020

Free Tax Service Offered Through UMO VITA Program

If you make less than $56,000 a year and do not file your tax return with a self-employed business (schedule C), rental property (schedule E), or stock/property sales (schedule D), then you are eligible to participate in the University of Mount Olive (UMO) VITA program, a FREE tax filing service.

Since 2015, the University of Mount Olive has participated in the nationwide IRS VITA program and has completed over 350 tax returns for area clients. The goal of the program is to help people file their tax returns correctly and timely, and that taxpayers get their proper deductions and credits.

Student volunteers, most of which are Tillman School of Business majors, must complete the IRS tax law training and exams. Dr. Henry Singletary, Chair for Accounting and Finance and Site Coordinator, also meets with volunteers for further instruction.

Singletary said, “This program is a great way to help students prepare for working with clients, provides them with hand-on experience, and it teaches them how to prepare taxes correctly.”

Singletary noted that many former volunteers have contacted him once they have become employed to tell him how valuable the UMO VITA experience was for them. “The book knowledge and classroom is necessary, but this opportunity to gain hands-on experience with real clients is invaluable,” Singletary added.

To take advantage of the service, interested tax payers will fill out the intake form and be interviewed by a volunteer. The volunteer will input the taxpayer’s information into the tax return program. Once all the information is verified with the taxpayer, another volunteer must review the tax return. No tax return is complete until it is reviewed by two volunteers and the site coordinator. After the tax return is reviewed, it is printed out and assembled for the taxpayer. Lastly, the taxpayer can authorize the UMO VITA program to efile their tax return to the IRS and the State of North Carolina. This assures that their tax return is filed on time in a secure manner and provides them with a speedier tax refund.

“The entire process can all be completed in one sitting in about an hour,” Singletary shared “or the taxpayer can drop off their tax information and come back and pick up their tax return at a later date.”

Individuals interested in the free tax return service should contact Dr. Singletary at [email protected] or 919-658-7850.

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