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A great perk for students, employees and community members

Accounting students offer free tax preparation through April 11.

By Tim Carroll

February 5, 2019

Parent and child with a tax prep assistantStudents in accounting Affiliate Professor Robert Persichitte’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance course are offering free tax-preparation services to individuals who earned less than $54,000 in 2018.

All eligible Metropolitan State University of Denver students, faculty, staff and community members are encouraged to take advantage of the free tax assistance.

The free tax-preparation program starts Thursday and runs through April 11. Except for the week of March 25 (during spring break), all appointments are available by walk-up every Monday and Thursday in MSU Denver’s Jordan Student Success Building Room 234 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for those who qualify. The typical tax filing can take anywhere from a half-hour to an hour and a half depending on the complexity of the return.

MSU Denver has been a supporter of the IRS-sponsored VITA program for more than three decades, helping Denver-area lower-income individuals and families with their tax returns. In 2018, students prepared nearly 350 tax returns totaling more than $488,000 in returns.

“Those who filed through the VITA program last year most likely won’t see much difference in their tax bill for 2018,” said Amy Cardillo, MSU Denver lecturer of accounting. “A majority of our filers do not itemize, and the increased standard deduction will lower their taxable income, which leads to a lower tax bill.”

To be eligible to participate, graduate accounting students must have previously volunteered in a VITA program as an undergraduate or worked at a tax firm for at least one year. All student tax consultants in the VITA program receive certification as volunteer tax preparers with oversight from credentialed professional faculty.

MSU Denver’s VITA class is affiliated with the Piton Foundation, a group of community-based nonprofit, government and private organizations. Student tax preparers will use IRS TaxSlayer software to file returns electronically on behalf of clients.

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