VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance)
What is VITA?
VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) is an IRS-sponsored program which provides income tax preparation services free of charge to our community.
Who qualifies for VITA?
- Individuals earning less than $51,000 a year
- Taxpayers with small businesses (sole proprietors only) that do not own depreciable assets and only if income and expense items are subtotaled and organized by the taxpayer ahead of time.
Who will be preparing my tax returns?
Fully-trained MSU accounting students.
What type of returns does VITA prepare?
The student-volunteers will be preparing federal and state returns for 2012 only. Volunteers will not prepare amended returns unless it is to correct errors that our volunteers have made at our site.
Where are we located?
Our tax clinic is located on the 3rd floor of Old Main on the Minot State University campus.
When is the tax clinic open?
Our last client appointment of each shift is 9:00 p.m. Please note that VITA volunteers will only be at this location during the specified dates and times. Also please do not attempt to visit the program volunteers at this location during any other time as no one will be there to assist you.
How do I make an appointment?
To serve you better, we will see clients only by appointment. We will not accept walk-ins. Beginning February 5, 2012 you may call 858-3122 to schedule your appointment. If you reach our voicemail, a message will explain the times and dates a telephone operator will be present to take your appointment. Please do not leave messages on this number.
When should I call to schedule my appointment?
Call days and times are: Tuesdays and Thursdays: 9:300 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
and Fridays 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
There will be no one available to answer the phone on the following dates:
March 11th - 15th
Also, the phones will not be answered if the university is closed due to inclement weather.
Please do not schedule an appointment until you have received all of your required documentation and be sure to have it handy when calling to make an appointment.
Where do I park during my appointment time?
After 4:30 p.m., you may park in the E lot which is located in front of Old Main. A parking permit is not required during our hours of operation, but parking tickets will be issued up to 4:30 p.m. daily. (These tickets are turned over to the City of Minot if remain unpaid).
You are required to bring the following documentation to your appointment:
- Completed Intake form (download form)
- Copy of last year’s federal and state return (even if you had them prepared by us)
- Valid Picture ID
- Birthdates for you, your spouse, and your dependents
- Social security cards for you, your spouse, and your dependents (If you have misplaced a card, go to the Social Security office in town to apply for a duplicate. Bring us a stamped receipt with the card number on it.) If you do not bring all social security cards or the proper receipt, you will not be served.
- If you receive a 1099-B, bring basis information for any securities sold in the year. (Contact your investment broker for this information if it is not shown on the form. You need this information even if the funds were automatically reinvested. We cannot prepare your return without your investment’s basis.)
- Wage and earnings statements (i.e. W-2 and 1099-MISC) and the amount of all other income received by you, your spouse, and your dependants
- Interest and dividend statements
- Child or dependant care provider’s address and tax identification number for the Child/Dependent Care Credit and total amounts paid to each provider for each qualifying child or dependent.
- Proof of account number and routing transit number of the financial institution for direct deposit into a savings or checking account. (Acceptable proof is a voided check for checking accounts or a voided deposit slip for savings accounts.)
- Form 8332 or copy of divorce decree if you are a non-custodial parent claiming the child
- If you receive a 1099-Misc, bring record of related expenses and business miles
- Your real estate tax bill and proof of payment made in 2012, even if you don’t normally itemize deductions.
- Proof of home purchase made in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 (closing documents) including any information regarding a First-time Homebuyer Credit you received (Forms 1099-A or 1099-C)
- Form 1099-SA and/or Form 5498-SA regarding Health Savings Accounts
- Proof of sales tax paid on new (not used) vehicle purchased in 2012.
- Form 1098-T for tuition and scholarship information
- Any other relevant income and expenses information
- Bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit of your tax refund.
If you are married and filing jointly, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms before it can be e-filed.
Generally, your return will be electronically filed and if you are due a refund, you can expect to receive your refund within 2-3 weeks, provided your return is not rejected. Rejections occur because of incorrect social security numbers, incorrect birth dates, incorrect dependency status, or other errors made by the client or the preparer. Be sure to confirm these items before coming to the site.
If you owe tax to the IRS and/or state(s) for the current year's return, you may e-file any time before the due date and still wait until April 15th to pay the amount due.
Carla Cabarle, CPA
Assistant Professor, Department of Accounting and Finance
Director, MSU VITA program