Western Maryland College students and others trained by Internal Revenue Service agents will offer free tax help until early April through the federal Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.
The VITA program, open to students and others who cannot afford professional preparation services, especially older, handicapped and non-English-speaking taxpayers, emphasizes assisting those who can help prepare their own taxes.
The students will provide complete tax preparation if needed, said Susan Milstein, associate professor of economics and business and coordinator of the college's program.
The student volunteers will earn academic credit.
All returns are checked by Milstein, who is an accountant, and other volunteer CPAs before being sent to the federal and state tax offices.
The VITA office at the college will be open to the public from Tuesday through April 10 in Gold Room B in Decker College Center.
Office hours are 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday and noon to 3 p.m. Saturday. The VITA program will not operate during Western Maryland College's spring break March 12-21.
The VITA schedule is: Tuesdays, beginning this week and continuing Feb. 23, March 2, 9, 23, 30, April 6; Thursdays, beginning this week and continuing Feb. 25, March 4, 11, 25, April 1, 8; Saturdays, beginning this week and continuing Feb. 27, March 6, 27, April 3, 10.
Walk-in service is available Feb. 16-27, but appointments are required after Feb. 27.
Those seeking help should bring last year's federal and state tax returns and all of the necessary 1998 income verification forms (W-2, 1099, etc.). For information or an appointment, call Mike Gaston at 410-751-8252 or Susan Milstein at 410-857-2456.
Pub Date: 2/14/99