For the 9th straight year, students and faculty from the Leeds School of Business and the CU Law School volunteered to prepare taxes for low-income residents. Leeds provides this help through the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program which provides free tax preparation services for those in need of assistance in the Boulder community.
Filing taxes for the 2017 tax season, Leeds students helped prepare just over 400 returns for qualified Boulder county residents. Returns filed this year resulted in $367,000 in total refunds, with $120,000 for total earned income tax credit, $68,000 in education tax credits, and $32,000 in child tax credits.
“Every year our students do an outstanding job in this program while receiving valuable experience to apply their skills in real-world situations. Providing a valuable service to the community results in a very humbling and rewarding experience,” said Susan Morley, senior accounting instructor and teaching professor as well as faculty advisor of the Leeds’ VITA program. “We are excited to provide this service again next year and we know that our students and community volunteers are as excited as we are to continue to serve the Boulder County community.”
To be eligible to prepare tax returns, students must have passed an IRS certification exam before they can be a part of this program. To ensure accuracy, all returns are screened and vetted by community volunteers who have previous work experience in tax law – ensuring the accuracy of returns for community members using the program.
The VITA program is open to residents who make less than $54,000 a year, have a disability, or who are limited English speakers. For people who meet the requirements, residents who request help in preparing their tax returns can contact IRS-certified volunteers through the program to provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing. VITA-dedicated sites are located throughout the state in local community and neighborhood centers, libraries, shopping malls and other convenient locations.
For the past nine years, Leeds has offered walk-in appointments during the active tax season months of January through the beginning of April. Details about next year’s program at Leeds will be available in January 2019.
For pre-recorded information about CU-Boulder’s free student-led tax preparation assistance through VITA, including hours and location, call 303-492-6654.