IRS-certified students providing free public tax assistance

Qualified individuals who need help preparing and filing their 2012 returns can visit the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

The free service is available through early April in the Teachers’ Learning Center of the Madigan Library (Room LIB/213) on Penn College’s main campus in Williamsport.

Required appointments will be scheduled from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Additional "first-come, first-served" dates and times are being considered for the convenience of walk-in taxpayers whose schedules cannot accommodate weekday sessions.

The site is within a territory that ranked first among 33 Internal Revenue Service regions in the number of returns processed last year, success that caught the eye of the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania. The foundation awarded a $4,389 mini-grant from its Williamsport/Lycoming Community Fund to offset administrative expenses, including printing and duplicating costs.

About a dozen students, most of them accounting majors in the School of Business and Computer Technologies, have been trained -- both in-house and by the federal government -- and certified as tax preparers.

“It’s a win for everyone -- students, the IRS and the community,” said John D. Grigsby, assistant professor of business administration/accounting, who oversees the college's VITA participation. "The students get hands-on training and experience with customer service, the IRS receives electronic returns, and the public gets the credible help it needs at tax time."

The program is designed for taxpayers who have relatively uncomplicated returns and less than $51,000 in annual income.

Appointments can be scheduled by calling 570-321-5544; taxpayers should bring proper identification, required forms such as W-2s, 1099s, and other documents, Social Security cards, banking information and receipts to document any deductions.

For more information about “degrees that work” offered within the School of Business and Computer Technologies, visit www.pct.edu/schools/bct or call 570-327-4517.

For more about Penn College, visit www.pct.edu, email admissions@pct.edu or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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Last Updated February 22, 2013