Tax form with pen and Ohio Northern University mug.

Ohio Northern University’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is again offering free, socially distanced income tax preparation for community members who make $57,000 or less annually.

In turn, this service enables ONU’s Dicke College of Business Administration students to receive practical training with tax preparation software and interpersonal communication, and to become IRS-certified to help prepare basic and intermediate tax returns. Students also gain experience in identifying and helping clients claim special credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Credit for the Elderly, which can significantly influence filing outcomes. 

Services include offering general filing guidance, completing tax returns for individuals, and e-filing those returns with the IRS.

Those interested in using VITA’s services at Ohio Northern must schedule an appointment by calling business professor and VITA site coordinator Dexter Woods at 419-772-2075. Appointments will be held starting Tuesday, Feb. 16.

To receive assistance, intake forms (which are required by the IRS when formal tax preparation services are offered) and tax documents must be submitted by March 31. Intake forms can either be sent to individuals after arranging an appointment with a scheduler, or can be filled out in person during an on-campus appointment.

There are three methods for obtaining assistance this year:

• Working with a scheduler to electronically send documents for a volunteer to use to prepare returns, which are then electronically returned to the client.

• Dropping off tax materials in person at the College of Business at a scheduled time so that returns can be prepared and then returned to clients in person at a later date.

• Submitting materials in person at a scheduled time and waiting for a volunteer to prepare and review with the client returns during that timeframe.

For more information about ONU’s 2021 VITA program, call Dr. Woods at 419-772-2075.