March 30, 2020

Worried about tax season?

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It’s almost April 15, and for most Americans, it means the dreaded income tax deadline. This deadline cannot be as despicable for students, low-income individuals or seniors because USU Eastern’s accounting students have been assisting these individuals fill out their tax forms since February in the Reeves Building accounting lab.
Since 1982, Eastern students have been preparing income taxes for low-income families, seniors and students, and the best part is that it’s free. USU Eastern was the first educational institution who started doing taxes for the students and community.Associate professor Henning Olsen, said, “Eastern was the first, the ‘flag ship for college VITA’ in preparing long-hand, and now computer and electronic filing.”
The class, income tax preparation, is a two-credit class that gives the students a “real-world experience” with basic finance knowledge. Olsen said that potential professions could be in accounting, public relations or as a tax preparer. 
This class helps the students by giving them their first accounting job. The program that is used, Tax Wise, is sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service. The students also have to pass an IRS exam to make sure that they qualify to be a tax preparer.
It isn’t only students who help with the preparations, many of the people in the community help. Hank Savage and Robert Higbee, for instance, come every year just to help and make sure that the students understand what they’re doing. Linda Jensen is another contributor to the program.
All that needs to be done is take in the W-2 forms from last year’s employers and a tax-practitioner will help with the paperwork.  The questions most missed, according to Olsen, are the ones concerning “claiming” and “education credits.”
Olsen said, “Students who pay out of pocket tuition and fees need to have their tax returned prepared so they can receive the education credit.” The refunds can be emailed, sent directly to a bank (direct deposit) or a home address.
How does one take advantage of this incredible offer? Eastern students are eligible and, being so, encouraged to take their tax forms in to the Reeves Building accounting lab, room 130. The hours are from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday and Wednesday.

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