Students from Purdue University North Central (PNC) tax and accounting classes are offering free assistance to the public over the next two months in preparing federal and state income tax returns. The program is designed to provide basic income tax return preparation to individuals with low to moderate incomes, individuals with disabilities, and the elderly.

2015 marks the 26th year that PNC has participated in the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. With support from La Porte County United Way, the program has been expanded this year to accommodate more clients. The program offers free filing help to individuals and families with Gross Incomes of $53,000 or less. Tax Returns will be prepared for income from wages, salaries, tips, pensions, ordinary interest, dividends, unemployment compensation, or Social Security benefits.

The volunteer tax preparers have completed 12 credit hours in accounting, including at least one tax course at Purdue North Central, and passed a rigorous IRS examination on tax rules and filing procedures.

Thomas Holets, continuing lecturer of accounting and coordinator of the PNC program, said the student VITA volunteers are prepared to help with basic returns, including the 1040, 1040A, 1040 EZ, and the Indiana IT-40, according to PNC's website. Returns, which include interest and dividend income, Itemized Deductions, Earned Income Credit (EIC), and basic stock and bond transactions, will also be prepared. Taxpayers are expected to participate in the IRS e-file program, unless a technical reason which prevents e-filing.

Appointments will be available from 9:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on all Saturdays from February 14 through March 28, with the exception of March 14, in Room 109 of the Technology Building on the PNC campus. Appointments are required. 

For more information on the program, head to PNC's site here.