|A Volunteer Income Tax Assistance team from Missouri Southern State University will be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, Feb. 8 through April 12, 2014, in Room 319 of the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center on campus in Joplin.
The free service is offered for individuals or families who make less than $51,000, according to David Smith, Ph.D. head of Missouri Southern’s accounting and finance department. Students will be on hand to help people file their tax forms electronically, creating a service-learning project that benefits everyone, he said.
“Our students are supervised by me or people who have years of tax preparation experience,” said Smith. “The idea is that (students) are getting experience, folks are getting a free service and it’s all under the supervision of the IRS.”
This marks the second year VITA has been offered at Missouri Southern, following a 10-year absence. Smith said the response last year was positive and hopes to see the participation grow this year.
“Last year, we had about 130 taxpayers come in,” said Smith. “There was more than $130,000 in refunds generated for people in the area, with a combined income of over $2 million.”