1/30/16 Free tax preparation available next week

Free tax preparation available next week
The Times-News 1/30/16     
Reprinted with permission.

ELON — Free tax help is available for those who qualify at four locations in Burlington starting next week.

United Way of Alamance County is working with Williams High School, Alamance Community College, Elon University — for the first time — and AARP to help people making less than $54,000 per year and the elderly prepare and file their taxes.

About 30 Elon University students and 35 Williams High School students will offer free tax preparation by appointment starting Feb. 6 through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. Volunteers also will be at ACC’s Dillingham Center, 1304 Plaza Drive, Burlington, and Kernodle Senior Center, 1535 S. Mebane St., Burlington.

Volunteers on average have completed at least 30 hours of training through the IRS. Last year, VITA assisted in the preparation of 306 returns.

Most of the student volunteers from Elon are business majors, according to the University News Bureau, and have gone through training and passed a series of tests for IRS certification. The volunteers will be working Saturdays at Elon’s Downtown Center for Community Engagement, 217 E. Davis St., Burlington. Williams students have offered tax preparation for years. While volunteers are high school students, tax preparers at Williams are mostly from the school’s finance academy and have gone through the same certification process as other VITA volunteers across the country. An adult supervisor will review all the returns before they are filed. This year, filers will need to make appointments for tax preparation at Williams.

This is the first time Elon students have offered VITA services in Alamance County. Elon School of Law School students had volunteered with VITA in Greensboro for several years before partnering with AARP Foundation Tax-Aide.

For more information about Elon’s undergraduate volunteers, contact professor Susan Anderson at 336-278-5234 or sanderson26@elon.edu.

IRS-certified volunteers can prepare and electronically file federal and North Carolina state returns. To learn more about VITA and eligibility to receive free tax-return services, and to make an appointment, visit https://uwalamance.org/our-work/programsservices.