Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program
Western New England University offers free tax preparation for people who generally make $54,000 or less through the IRS VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program. VITA is coordinated by the University’s Department of Accounting and Finance and International Student & Scholar Services. Our IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals. Volunteers are required to uphold high standards of ethical conduct, confidentiality, and service.
Eligibility for the VITA program:
- 2017 income of less than $54,000
- Common tax return situation
- No uncertain or estimated figures
- No rental property, self-employment, or business returns
- No bankruptcy or insolvency
How do i register?
Western New England University VITA prefers that clients set up their appointment by completing a registration form. Doing so ensures that your wait time will be minimal and that you have the correct documents prior to arrival.
VITA occurs on Tuesdays starting at 4 p.m. with the last appointment at 7 p.m. beginning on February 13 and ending on March 27. VITA will not take place during the Western New England University Spring Break on March 20. VITA program is in Churchill Hall, Room 112 (first floor).
If you are unsure if you are a resident or non-resident for tax purposes please read the following:
- U.S. citizen, Permanent Resident, or individual who has been in the U.S. for 2-5 years (depending on immigration status)
- F Students (and dependents) in the U.S. for less than 5 years
- J Students/Scholars (and dependents) in the U.S. for less than 2 years
- Please click here for additional guidance if you have meet the time requirements but are unsure about your tax residency status.
Documents Required for your VITA Appointment
- Photo ID (always required; no exceptions)
- Social Security cards for yourself, spouse, and dependents (ALWAYS REQUIRED; NO EXCEPTIONS)*
- To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax Resident return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms
- If applicable, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter for you, your spouse and dependents
- Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN
- Completed Intake Form
- International Students ONLY
- Visa info, and dates of entry and exit since 2011
- Name, address, and phone number of your academic program
- All tax documents you received (W2, 1099, 1098, etc.) from ALL employers
- Any other income info
- Health insurance coverage info for yourself, spouse, and dependents:
- Form 1099HC for private health insurance. Get a copy from parents if you're on their plan
- Form 1095A for Mass. Health Connector insurance
- For MassHealth: health insurance cards and months of coverage
- Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
- Form 1098-T for any college tuition/interest paid
- Amount contributed to IRAs
- Any mail you got from IRS or Mass. Dept. of Revenue
- A copy of last year’s federal and state returns if available
- Bank routing numbers and account numbers for Direct Deposit
- Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider's tax identifying number (the provider's Social Security Number or the provider's business Employer Identification Number) (if applicable)
- Copy of the settlement statement if claiming the homebuyer’s credit
- Real estate tax and mortgage interest paid (1098 from your lender) (if any)
- Record of rent payment, landlord’s name and address (if any)
- Proof of real estate tax paid for 2017
*It is extremely important that each person use the correct Social Security Number. The most accurate information is usually located on your original Social Security card. Each year hundreds of thousands of returns are delayed in processing, or credit/deductions are disallowed because names and Social Security Numbers do not match Social Security Administration records. To prevent processing delays in paper returns and rejected electronically filed returns, volunteers check the accuracy of each Social Security Number, as well as the spelling of the name associated with the number. If you do not have an SSN for you or a dependent, you should complete Form SS-5, Social Security Number Application. This form should be submitted to the nearest Social Security Administration Office.
Directions to the VITA Site
Parking is available near building #19 and building #8 as they are the closest lots to Churchill Hall. VITA does not suggest parking in the lot between building #5 and #6 as an additional parking permit is required.
If you are coming by PVTA bus, please note that Bus 17 serves the University. The bus will drop you off at the Welcome Center (building #1). VITA is located in building #7 (about a 5 minute walk). While construction of our new Dining Commons is on-going (until March 1), you may need to go through Herman Hall to arrive to the main section of campus.
All VITA tax preparers are Western New England University students enrolled in the University’s Tax Practicum Class. Students gain experiential learning by preparing federal and state income tax returns. This course qualifies for one of your LBCs, subject to necessary pre-approvals and a satisfactory LBC reflection paper. Key outcomes in this course include experience in tax compliance and managing professional-client relationships.
This course runs only in the spring semester. If interested, contact Professor Ausher Kofsky at firstname.lastname@example.org.