Milligan offering free tax preparation | News
Milligan University’s VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program has provided free, IRS-certified tax return preparation to local citizens for over a decade.
This year, the program, sponsored by Bank of Tennessee and Carter County Bank, will take place in Milligan’s Hardin Hall from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. on three Saturdays during the 2021 filing season: Feb. 27, March 13 and April 3. Appointments are required and can be scheduled at www.milligan.edu/vita or by calling 423-461-8700.
The site will follow COVID-19 safety precautions, including masks and social distancing. Initial meetings will take place outside in a covered breezeway, and then tax returns will be prepared while taxpayers wait in their car. Any questions will be covered by phone.
Milligan’s VITA program offers a free alternative that provides the same fast refunds as paid preparers offer. Over the years, student volunteers have completed hundreds of returns and saved local taxpayers thousands of dollars, with each client averaging over $1,000 in refunds.
Under the supervision of faculty in the William B. Greene, Jr. School of Business & Technology, Milligan students train extensively and are certified by the Internal Revenue Service to prepare returns for taxpayers in Johnson City, Elizabethton and the surrounding areas.
“VITA is a practical, hands-on way for our students to make a positive difference and become servant-leaders in their community,” said Dr. David Campbell, area chair of business and professor of economics. “We appreciate our partnership with Bank of Tennessee and Carter County Bank as we provide this important service to our community.”
Taxpayers eligible for VITA services include: people with annual incomes of less than $64,000; anyone with a physical disability; non-English-speaking citizens; and people older than 55. In addition to electronic filing for quick deposit of returns, VITA volunteers can inform taxpayers about special tax credits for which they may qualify, such as earned income tax credit, child tax credit, and credit for the elderly or the disabled.
Every taxpayer participating in VITA must file an Intake/Interview Questionnaire. Only one completed form is needed if filing status is Married Filing Jointly. The form can be completed prior to an appointment.
Contributed to the Press