If being taxed is one of life's only certainties, receiving free tax preparation assistance from Niagara University isn't far behind.
For a 33rd year, students from NU's College of Business Administration will help members of the Niagara Falls community file their state and federal income taxes this spring.
In 2013, student volunteers helped local residents file 453 tax returns, totaling more than $630,000 in federal and state refunds.
Accounting professor Ian Burt will take over coordination of the program, which saw 54 students contribute more than 630 volunteer hours a year ago.
"As a Vincentian institution, the VITA program embodies what we're attempting to do in terms of service learning," said Burt, a certified public accountant who is nearing completion of his doctorate in accounting. "To be able to offer this service to the underserved members of this community is a way for the university to give back. At the same time, our students are learning skills that will be necessary for them to pursue employment after graduation."
Sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service, the program, called Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, is entering its 33rd year at Niagara. Under the program, NU students prepare and electronically file federal and state tax returns free of charge for elderly and low-income taxpayers in the community. The program is coordinated by members of Beta Alpha Psi, the international honor society for accounting, and the college's Accounting Society.
Beginning Feb. 11, assistance will be provided from 5:45 to 7:30 p.m. at Niagara University (St. Vincent's Hall, Room 205) on the following dates:
•Feb. 11, 13, 18, 20, 25 and 27
•March 11, 13, 18, 20, 25 and 27
•April 1 and 3
No appointments are needed to participate in this free service.
Niagara University's VITA program has garnered national accolades from Beta Alpha Psi, an organization with more than 300,000 members in 300 chapters on college and university campuses around the world.
For more information, call 716-286-8050 or visit www.niagara.edu.