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Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

Free Income Tax Preparation & E-file by IRS Certified Volunteers

Our program is over this year, but check back in January 2023 for details about the next tax filing season!

Federal and Georgia Income Tax Returns

The School of Accountancy at Georgia Southern University and the IRS have partnered to bring the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) to the local community. This is an annual partnership to provide free individual income tax preparation and e-file services to taxpayers. All tax returns are prepared and reviewed by accounting students and faculty who are IRS VITA certified. The service is generally available to taxpayers with a household income of $68,000 or less.

Free tax preparation services will begin Monday, January 31, 2022, and continue until Wednesday, April 13, 2022. We do not take appointments. Our service is provided first-come, first-served. It is recommended that you arrive as early as possible within the time frame listed below due to the limited number of taxpayers we can serve during each session. Taxpayers arriving late or without the necessary documentation may need to return on another day. Please be sure to read the checklist below about the items you will need to bring.

If you have any questions, please email vita@georgiasouthern.edu or call (912) 478-0404.

Location and Hours

Location

City Campus, Downtown Statesboro, 58 E Main St, Suite D, Statesboro, GA 30458

Hours (No Appointments; First Come, First Served)

Mondays January 31 – April 11 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Wednesdays February 2 – April 13 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturdays (5 dates) Feb. 12, Feb. 26, Mar. 5, Mar. 26, & April 2 9 a.m. – Noon

Note: No tax preparation sessions will be conducted during the week of Spring Break (March 14 – 18).

Our Process

Please be sure to read the checklist below for the required items to bring. If you do not bring all of the required items, we may not be able to complete your tax return.

  1. A VITA certified volunteer will verify that the taxpayers showed a government-issued ID and social security card. This is an IRS VITA site requirement to prevent identity theft.
  2. A VITA certified volunteer will interview the taxpayer to ensure we have all the necessary information to complete an accurate tax return. We will have the interview form available at our site, but you can access it here if you would like to complete it in advance: www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f13614c.pdf
  3. If we have all the necessary information to complete the tax return, the VITA certified volunteer will prepare the tax return. If not, the volunteer may provide the taxpayer with a list of the missing documents needed.
  4. After the tax return is prepared, it will be quality reviewed by another VITA certified volunteer.

For the safety of our volunteers and the local community, we encourage masks and social distancing.

      Checklist of Items to Bring

Required Identification and Other Items

  • Photo Identification for you (and your spouse, if filing a joint return)
    Acceptable photo IDs include government-issued ID and school ID
  • For married filing joint, BOTH the taxpayer and spouse must be present to sign the tax return
  • Social security cards (or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number ITIN document) for you, your spouse, and all dependents
  • Birthdates for you, your spouse, and dependents
  • For direct deposit of refund, proof of taxpayer bank routing number and account number (such as a check)
  • Form 1095-A (if you have Marketplace Health Insurance)
  • A copy of last year’s tax return, if available
  • Important for college students:  You will need to know whether your parent(s) or guardian(s) will claim you as a dependent or if you are considered independent. This may impact your tax return and your parent’s(s’) tax return.
  • Amount of the third Economic Impact Payment (“Stimulus Payment”) received
    (IRS Letter 6475 will show the amounts you received. This letter will be mailed to you by the IRS in late-January.)
  • Amount of any Advanced Child Tax Credit Payments received (IRS Letter 6419 will show the amounts you received. This letter will be mailed to you by the IRS in late-January.)

Common Income Items

  • Wages, Form W-2 for all employers
  • Retirement income such as social security statement SSA-1099 and/or 1099-R
  • Independent contractor income, such as 1099-NEC, 1099-MISC, 1099-K, etc.
  • 1099-G if you received any unemployment income (you can access your Georgia Department of Labor account online to find this information, if needed)
  • Information for any other type of income (interest income, dividend income, stock sales, etc.)
  • Any other 1099s received

Common Deduction and Tax Credit Items

  • Mortgage interest, Form 1098
  • Real estate taxes paid
  • Charitable contributions
  • College education expenses, Form 1098-T
  • Student loan interest, Form 1098-E
  • Documentation from childcare provider showing total paid and the provider’s tax ID number and address

Certain tax situations are out of the scope of the VITA program. We cannot prepare tax returns for the following situations:

  • Self-employment (Schedule C) with a loss, total expenses over $35,000, depreciation, and/or business use of home
  • Complicated capital gains and losses (Schedule D)
  • Rental property (Schedule E)
  • Farm Profit or Loss (Schedule F)
  • And other situations determined out of scope based on IRS VITA guidelines

Please note, due to IRS certification requirements and limitations at our site this tax season:

  • We are only able to prepare Federal and Georgia (full-year resident) individual income tax returns.
  • We are not able to prepare 1040-NR U.S. Nonresident  Alien Income Tax Returns.
  • We are not currently able to prepare tax returns for military or internationals, but these services may be added in future tax seasons.

Last updated: 4/14/2022