Free Tax Preparation for 2016 Taxes

Free Tax Preparation for 2016 Taxes

Empire College accounting students provide free tax preparation

For the eighth consecutive year, Empire College accounting students and faculty will be assisting United Way of the Wine Country in delivering free income tax services to low-to-moderate income residents through the Earn it! Keep It! Save It! (EKS)/Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. In order to participate in this unique, hands-on learning opportunity, each student has become IRS certified in advanced tax preparation.

“People who are in certain tax brackets can have their taxes prepared at no cost by trained preparers,” says Shelley Dawson, president of Empire’s student chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants and a volunteer tax preparer. “Working at the VITA/EKS clinic is very rewarding; it’s a great experience being able to give back to the community.”

“From January 28th through April 18th, the Empire site will be offering tax preparation services on Monday through Thursday afternoons from 2:30 to 5:00 p.m., as well as Friday and Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.,” reports Ashley.

This year’s EKS program will again offer additional benefits and financial services at tax sites throughout the County. Suzanne Yeomans, Financial Stability Program Officer  for United Way, appreciates the dedication and enthusiasm of these volunteers. “Empire College students provide incredible support for the VITA program through the United Way led Earn It! Keep It! Save It! Coalition,” says Yeomans. “Last year Empire College students prepared 1,111 tax returns, returning $1,476,354 in refunds to our local communities. Students also assisted with the Sonoma County Kick-Off Event which was hosted by Empire College. The participation of Empire College is truly an asset to this program.”

To reserve an appointment time, call 2-1-1; for more information, visit www.unitedwaywinecountry.org.