volunteers are reaching out to the community by providing a free tax service for low- to moderate-income taxpayers.
Kent State’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, also known as VITA, is offering the service for qualifying individuals this tax-filing season on the Kent campus.
Paula DiVencenzo, business and finance tax manager at Kent State, says this is the second year Kent State is participating in the IRS-sponsored VITA program.
Volunteers include members from Beta Alpha Psi, the accounting association, the university’s payroll department and the Office of Global Education, as well as five interns completing the master's program in the College of Business Administration.
DiVencenzo says some volunteers are involved to gain experience, but most are community-minded students who want to help people.
Tianjun Shen, a VITA volunteer, says he got involved while interning for Kent State’s International Student and Scholar Services.
“I offered to help and found it quite rewarding to be able to help international students, scholars and their family members,” Shen said. “Also, as an international student myself, I was confused about how to file my taxes, and I just wanted to offer my helping hand.”
DiVencenzo said international students use the services more than any group. However, DiVencenzo encourages traditional students and community members to file their taxes through the service because it is free and volunteers are dedicated to making sure taxpayers are taking advantage of any deductions or credits available.
To qualify for free preparation and e-file services, taxpayers’ gross income must total $50,000 or less for individual and joint filing. The service is available to students, university employees and the public. Certified volunteers prepare U.S. 1040 forms for residents and 1040NR forms for nonresidents.
The VITA tax preparation site is located in Rooms A224 and A226 in the Business Administration Building, 475 Terrace Drive. Weekday sessions are available by appointment.
The VITA site is open for walk-ins from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. on March 10 and April 7; and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. March 31. Although Saturday walk-ins are welcome, appointments are encouraged.
All appointments can be scheduled by contacting DiVencenzo at 330-672-8622 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
to print a flyer with pertinent information about the program, including forms of identification and specific documentation that must be provided by participants.