Iowa State University students offer free tax preparation services each year. They do this work annually as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offered through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The VITA 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.”
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.
It 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.
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.
Please see the limitations here: Scope of Service.
Make an appointment
Please visit https://calendly.com/vita-isucampus to make an appointment. Appointments will open on February 1. Please note, once the appointments are full, the website will not allow you to select any of the time slots even though you can see the time slot you desire.
Also, the actual tax preparation process may take up to two or three hours, so please plan accordingly the day of your appointment.
Free parking is available at the East Campus Parking Deck, across the street from the Gerdin Business Building, evenings after 5:30 p.m. Paid parking is available at the Memorial Union Parking Ramp during all sessions. CyRide also has stops outside the Gerdin Business Building; visit the CyRide website for route details, cyride.com.
We will review all of your information at the beginning of your appointment to ensure your return falls within our guidelines. Please be advised that if your return falls outside of our guidelines, we will not be able to prepare your return.
Taxpayers should bring the following to the VITA site to have their returns prepared:
- Proof of identification – a government-issued photo ID is required.
- Social Security Cards for you, your spouse, and dependents and/or a Social Security Number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration – required.
- Birth dates for you, your spouse, and dependents on the tax return.
- Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, from all employers.
- Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099).
- A copy of last year’s Federal and State tax returns.
- Bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit.
- Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider’s tax identifying number (an individual’s Social Security Number or the business’ Employer Identification Number).
- To file taxes electronically on a married filing joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.
- You must also know whether you are being claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return.