A group of BHSU students enrolled in the Advanced Tax course are volunteering their time to assist area residents with tax preparation through the VITA program. Students participating in this service include: Back row (l to r):  Rachel Pauly, Rapid City;  Samantha Drabek, Rapid City;  Hannah Remington, Groton;  Veronica Ravnaas, Harrold;  Shannon Quinn, Spearfish; Cynthia Wellard Central City; Erica Uhlir, Murdo; Karlee Laber, Winner; and Savhannah Williams, Lead.  Front row:  Elise Foltz, Spearfish; David Adelman, Rapid City; Mark Stefanovic, Casper, Wyo.; and Amy Grable, Rapid City.  Not pictured:  Elizabeth Helms, Wall; Daniel Conklin, Rapid City; and Andreanna Smith, from Piedmont.

Accounting students at Black Hills State University are once again assisting area residents with tax preparation through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

This year 16 students in the Advanced Tax class taught by Dr. David Crawford are volunteering their time to prepare tax forms. According to Crawford, the clientele is primarily lower income individuals and the elderly. 

“VITA is an IRS sanctioned program that has been offered on the BHSU campus and at the public library for many years,” Crawford says. “The students have to pass the IRS training certification prior to participating.  We expect to complete over 150 tax returns this year with returns filed electronically using software provided by IRS.”

One session is remaining prior to the April 15 tax deadline. VITA students will be available Thursday, April 12 from 3:30 until 6:30 p.m. in room 207 of Clare and Josef Meier Hall on the BHSU campus.

VITA sets the following guidelines for the types of returns that are not eligible: Individuals with gross income greater than $50,000; tax returns that include significant business, farming or rental income; tax returns that require a depreciation schedule; individuals with significant military income; any other tax return deemed beyond the scope of the VITA site at the time of the appointment.   Things to bring to the tax appointment include: social security cards for all taxpayers and dependents; proof of identity for tax filer such as driver’s license or other form of identification; tax documents received for 2011 such as W-2s, 1099s, 1098s, and other reports; tax documents received for 2011 indicating potential deductible amounts, and a copy of last year’s (2010) filed tax forms.