UNI students offer free tax return preparation and e-filing

UNI NEWS SERVICES – Accounting students at the University of Northern Iowa are providing free income tax assistance again this year through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Assistance in the preparation of tax returns will be available on Monday and Wednesday nights from Feb. 11 through April 10 (excluding March 18 and 20 of spring break week). Returns for foreign students and scholars will be prepared beginning Monday, March 4.

Returns are being prepared from 6 to 8 p.m., with registration taking place in Room 223 of the Curris Business Building on the UNI campus. No appointment is necessary; Room 223 will open at 5:30 p.m. You are encouraged to arrive early to allow students sufficient time to complete your return. Only a limited number of returns will be completed each night. 

VITA was established by the Internal Revenue Service to help low income taxpayers who may find it difficult to pay for tax preparation services. The program also provides accounting students an experiential learning opportunity as they work with taxpayers.

Students will be available to electronically prepare and e-file federal and Iowa tax returns for eligible taxpayers. Accounting students have completed a one-semester comprehensive tax course, plus additional training for IRS certification, and have access to a variety of federal and state reference materials.

Taxpayers seeking assistance should bring: social security cards for the taxpayer, spouse and dependents; valid photo identification; a copy of last year’s Federal and Iowa tax returns; Form W-2, "Wage and Tax Statement," from each employer; Forms 1099, for such things as interest, dividends or retirement payments; a list of other income and expenses; Form 1098-E, student loan interest statement; Form 1098-T, tuition payment statement (also bring institution billing statement); banking information (account and routing numbers) for automatic deposit of refund; and all other information pertinent to your 2018 tax return. Clients will also be asked about health insurance coverage for themselves and their dependents. If you received a Form 1095-A (Health Insurance Marketplace), Form 1095-B or 1095-C statement, please bring it with you to indicate your health insurance coverage.

For more information, call the UNI Department of Accounting at 319-273-2394.


Linda DeBarthe, UNI accounting faculty and VITA site coordinator, 319-273-7362, 

Debra Messerer, secretary, UNI Department of Accounting, 319-273-2928