March 1, 2013
WHERE: Temple University Ambler, Learning Center, 580 Meetinghouse Road
WHEN: Saturdays, Now through April 6,
1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Tax time is here. Wending through the complex maze of federal, state, and local tax preparation is a yearly ritual that most families would probably like to avoid if they could.
Beta Alpha Psi and the Temple University Ambler Accounting Professional Society, supported by campus faculty and additional volunteers, are providing federal and state tax preparation help to low-to-moderate income families, students and individuals. The program is part of the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program, in association with the Montgomery County Tax Coalition.
Ambler's VITA program is on track for a record-breaking season, according to Temple University Accounting Professor Steven Balsam, who also advises Beta Alpha Psi and the Ambler Accounting Professional Society.
"We have completed about 130 returns so far, many of which have been for students," he said. "It's our busiest year yet! Our goal is to complete 400 returns and reach $500,000 in refunds."
At Ambler on every Saturday from now through April 6, Volunteer Tax Assistants — all of them trained and certified — are available at the Ambler Campus Learning Center, from 1 to 5 p.m., to offer free tax preparation assistance through the VITA program.
“VITA is a program for those with low-to-moderate incomes. If a family’s income is less than $50,000 they are eligible for this program,” said Temple University Accounting Professor Steven Balsam, who also advises Beta Alpha Psi and the Ambler Accounting Professional Society. “Certainly Temple University students and students throughout the region in need of tax preparation assistance are invited to take advantage of this special program. We have about 40 student, alumni and faculty volunteers for 2013. Our Volunteer Tax Assistants can also help students and community members in claiming any special credits and deductions for which they may be eligible.”
Participation in the VITA program for the past six years has been an entirely student-driven initiative. The 2012 program completed 346 tax returns and claimed $408,206 in federal tax refunds.
“They had heard about the program and were very interested in participating. The VITA program also helps raise awareness about the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and other important issues that people getting ready for tax time might not be aware of,” he said. “It’s certainly a valuable service for the public. Whereas it might cost $100 or more for tax preparation elsewhere, here they are able to get the help they need for free. For our student volunteers, they are provided a great experiential learning opportunity working with real people in our community.”
Students, individuals, and families, interested in taking advantage of the program are asked to bring this year’s tax package, wage and earnings statement (Form W-2) from all employers, interest statements from banks (Form 1099), a copy of last year’s tax return, if available, and other relevant information about income and expenses.
The VITA Program at Temple University Ambler is by appointment only and space is limited. Qualifying families, individuals and students are asked to call 215-204-8110 to schedule an appointment. For more information contact email@example.com.
CONTACT: James Duffy, 267-468-8108, firstname.lastname@example.org, release available by e-mail