Free Tax Preparation and Filing to be Available at YSU

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Youngstown State University’s Lariccia School of Accounting and Finance will serve as a site for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program beginning Friday.

The program, in which YSU business students and community volunteers provide free tax preparation and filing, requires taxpayers to make appointments to drop off and pick up their tax materials at the Williamson College of Business Administration on the YSU campus.

Appointments can be made HERE. For questions, call 330 941 2507.

Taxes will be prepared Friday, Feb. 9, 16 and 17; March 1, 15, 22 and 29; and April 5 and 12. Drop-off and pickup will be at the Williamson College of Business Administration building at the designated appointment time.

The Mahoning County Financial Stability Partnership will also host a financial fair Feb. 17 at YSU. Ten partners from the Financial Stability Partnership will be vendors at the event to provide financial education and support to those who attend. Short seminars will be offered to clients being served as they wait to have their taxes prepared. 

The goal of the event is to assist each family in making responsible fiscal decisions with their tax return money and for their financial future.

VITA provides free assistance to all taxpayers, including but not limited to people with disabilities, students and senior citizens. 

Taxpayers must provide wage and earnings statements (Form W-2) from all employers, interest statements from banks (Form 1099), a copy of last year’s tax return if available and other relevant information about income and expenses. 

Taxpayers also need to bring Social Security cards for all people on the tax return and a photo ID card. Taxpayers with complex returns may need to see an accountant.

In preparation for the VITA program, business students and community volunteers are required to go through more than 50 hours of intensive training and pass IRS certifications. 

Business students from the Williamson College of Business Administration also have the opportunity to work with professional volunteers who are WCBA alumni with extensive backgrounds in tax preparation. 

Students are not required to be upperclassmen. This year’s volunteers include freshmen through graduate students. The intensive training program is enough to qualify every volunteer.

“As an accounting student at YSU, participating in the VITA program was a natural option,” said Collin Meehan of Lake Milton, Ohio, a senior accounting student at YSU. “The VITA program not only provides beneficial tax services to members of the Youngstown community and the surrounding area, but also gives volunteers and students valuable income tax preparation experience and the opportunity to give back to their community.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.