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Western Maryland students trained by IRS to provide free tax help


Western Maryland College students and others trained by Internal Revenue Service agents will offer free tax help from the federal Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program through early April.

The program is open to students and others who cannot afford professional tax-preparation services, especially older, handicapped or non-English-speaking taxpayers.

The program emphasizes self-help assistance. However, students will provide complete tax preparation if needed, said Susan Milstein, associate professor of economics and business and coordinator of the WMC program.

Student volunteers earn academic credit for their work in VITA. All returns are checked by Milstein, a certified public accountant, and by other volunteer CPAs before being sent to federal and state tax offices.

The VITA office at WMC will be open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays in Gold Room B in Decker College Center, beginning this week and continuing through April 12.

Office hours are 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays. The VITA program will not operate during WMC's spring break March 14 to 24.

Walk-in service is available until Feb. 22, after which appointments will be required.

Those seeking help should bring last year's federal and state tax returns and the necessary 1996 income verification forms, such as a W-2 and 1099.

Information or an appointment: Ryan John, 751-8291; or Susan Milstein, 857-2456.

Pub Date: 2/09/97

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