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VITA Tax Season begins with a slow start

February 8, 2013

Joe Florio / The Courier - VITA Charissa Butler assists a member of the community, Sesilee Flores with her taxes. VITA services will be available until April 15th. Remember to bring a social security card and an I.D.

For yet another year, Monmouth College is providing a free tax services to members of the community and students alike, throught the VITA program.

Students in both the VITA course and seniors taking the Citizenship version of the VITA program for their Integrated Studies course have been attending workshops for the last three weeks.

During the workshops students went through the VITA handbook and took the four tests necessary to file taxes to the IRS within the scope of the program.

Professors Connie Mersch and Judy Peterson are heading the program as in previous years. Both instructed the students and will be at every VITA session between now and April 15.

Beginning students will also work with a number of veteran student tax preparers, who have done the program before.

VITA began filling out tax returns last Saturday, but members were surprised to note that traffic was slow initially.

Usually the first few weeks of VITA are the busiest, but the first day saw a lull in activity that left the students waiting for an hour.

Most likely the incliment weather kept the majority of people away, but also stemming the flow of people may have been the new policy.

This year, only tax returns of $50,000 or less were allowed during the first two weeks, in order to get the least complicated tax returns out of the way first, and to control the amount of time people must wait.

Even with the new policy in place, some people who showed up were unable to be seen until the following Wednesday. Those who are unable to been seen on the day they show up are put at the top of the waiting list for the next day.

Students and faculty members in need of getting taxes filed have the option of using the students of the VITA class. Students must also remember that when filing the FAFSA for next year, taxes must be return filed with the IRS before it can get approved.

VITA services will be available from now until April 15, Monday and Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Megan Zaubi
Features Editor

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