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Filling out your tax returns?

VITA prep course

Free help is available to the public

Iowa State University students offer free tax preparation services each year, a service that is open to the public. They do this work annually as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offered through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Charlotte Sears, from Elkhart, Iowa, was a 2023 client of the program.

“This program has been a huge benefit for our family as all six members utilized the service,” Sears said. “This is a wonderful opportunity and a valuable community resource. We were all able to easily schedule appointments online around work commitments. The Iowa State students providing the service were welcoming, confident, and competent. Our family was so fortunate to work with VITA.”

The program seeks to assist those with limited means, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and taxpayers who are new to the United States and need assistance. The student volunteers are IRS-certified volunteers who provide free basic income tax return preparation, including electronic filing.

“VITA provides our students with real-life experience. They work one-on-one with their own clients, preparing tax returns while the taxpayer is at the clinic,” said Chris Moon, associate teaching professor of accounting and coordinator of the program. “VITA provides a valuable service to our community. Tax returns are prepared for eligible individuals free of charge at our clinic. Our students are gaining confidence and employability skills while helping Iowa State and Ames community members. It is a win-win.”

Program details

Who: Taxpayers with household incomes of $64,000 or less are eligible for basic return preparation services. This service is limited to taxpayers who are within the scope limitations set out by the IRS.

When: The service is offered from February 12 through April 11, except for the week when Iowa State observes spring break (March 11 – 15). The service is available Monday through Thursday nights.

How: Members of the public, including those in the Iowa State community, can begin scheduling appointments on Thursday, February 1 at the following link:

Where: The VITA clinic is located in the Gerdin Business Building on the Iowa State campus. There are alternative sites at the following locations:

  • Ames Public Library.
  • Story City Library.
  • Nevada Public Library.
  • Boone Public Library.
  • Des Moines Area Community College – Boone campus.

Please see the limitations here: Scope of Service.

January 31, 2024