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Meramec’s VITA Program Offers Free Tax Preparation for 10th Year

February 03, 2012

St. Louis Community College-Meramec is partnering with the Internal Revenue Service for the 10th year to offer free tax preparation through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. 

The IRS annually partners with higher education institutions and community organizations to offer this service throughout the United States, helping approximately 2 million taxpayers each year. Throughout the past nine tax seasons, 158 accounting student interns have prepared more than 4,400 tax returns at Meramec.

Accounting student interns completed an IRS certification course taught by Meramec faculty Robyn Barrett, Amy Monson and Markus Ahrens. The student interns can prepare federal and most state income tax returns using commercial tax preparation software, including US 1040, Schedules A, B, EIC and R, plus Earned Income, Child and Dependent Care, Education and Additional Child Tax credits. Electronic filing also is available with the service.

“The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program at Meramec allows our student interns to experience real-world tax preparation, combined with a great service-learning opportunity,” Ahrens said. “Members of the community benefit from having their taxes prepared at no cost by the student interns.”

Ahrens noted that the tax returns prepared at Meramec in 2011 provided $94,483 in Earned Income Credits and $561,827 in Federal Refunds to the community.

Individuals can take advantage of the VITA program 1:30-5:30 p.m. each Wednesday (except March 14) through April 11. The service is available by appointment only. To schedule an appointment or for more information, call the Accounting and Legal Studies department at 314-984-7514.