Each spring, IRS-certified accounting students from the University at Buffalo School of Management provide free tax preparation services to qualifying individuals and families.
The service is provided by the IRS-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program with volunteers from the UB Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, an international honors organization for accounting and finance students and professionals, and UB Accounting Association.
In 2017, 157 IRS-certified accounting students from the University at Buffalo School of Management brought more than $1.1 million back into the Buffalo community through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Nearly $283,000 of the total was a result of the Earned Income Credit, which assists low-income families.
Western New York residents and students are encouraged to take advantage of this free service, which, by IRS estimates, can save taxpayers $100 to $300 in preparation fees.
This service can be especially valuable to low-income tax filers by helping them apply for earned income tax credits that can provide a needed boost in annual income. The tax credits, which can reduce or completely eliminate income taxes by refunding taxes already withheld from wages, can mean as much as $5,028 for a family with two children.
Over the past 10 years, School of Management student volunteers for the VITA program have brought more than $10.3 million in tax refunds back into the community by preparing nearly 8,200 tax returns. More than $2.3 million was from the Earned Income Credit, helping families most in need of support.
Free tax preparation dates for 2019 will be posted in early 2019.