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KU law students and Legal Services for Students assisting with free tax preparation

Thursday, February 05, 2015

LAWRENCE – As tax season gets under way, two University of Kansas groups are offering free tax preparation services for those who qualify.

KU School of Law students with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program will prepare returns for taxpayers who are residents of Kansas, Missouri or Illinois; who make less than $53,000 per household per year; and who do not itemize their deductions. The program runs from Feb. 16 to April 15.

Legal Services for Students (LSS) is also offering free tax assistance through a VITA partnership with the Internal Revenue Service. Any U.S. resident taxpayer may prepare and electronically file their federal and state tax returns for free via the LSS website if their income was $60,000 or less in 2014. International students and staff at KU may also prepare their taxes using free software with no income limit.

Last year, KU Law students prepared about 200 federal and state tax returns.  LSS directly prepared 150 returns in 2014 and assisted more than 1,600 individuals in preparing their own returns through the tax workshops at the Budig computer lab. View the workshop schedule (PDF). For more information about tax assistance provided by Legal Services for Students, contact the office at 785-864-5665 or legals@ku.edu.

“The tax preparation workshops are a great way for students and staff to learn about properly preparing and filing their own tax returns,” said Jo Hardesty, director of Legal Services for Students.  “The workshops are staffed by LSS tax attorneys and KU Law student interns who are prepared to answer any questions that may arise.”

The KU Law program operates on a first-come, first-served basis, and the number of preparers varies by site. Those seeking assistance are encouraged to arrive near the start of each session. Please bring proof of identification and all relevant documentation, including proof of income, expenditures and health insurance-related documents. For more information, call 785-864-9227.

Law students Trevor Bond and Matthew Schippers are coordinating this year’s VITA program, with about 25 other law students helping to prepare returns. Stephen Mazza, dean of the law school and professor of tax-related law, serves as the VITA faculty coordinator.

“VITA provides great value to the community and KU students,” Bond said. “It gives individuals an alternative to paying a professional or risking error in preparing their own returns, and it gives KU students firsthand experience with tax law and customer service.” 

Spring 2015 Schedule

Monday 6 – 8:45 p.m., Green Hall, 3rd Floor Computer Lab, 1535 W. 15th St.
Wednesday 3 – 5:45 p.m., Green Hall, 3rd Floor Computer Lab, 1535 W. 15th St.
Thursday Noon – 2 p.m., Penn House, 1035 Pennsylvania St.
3 – 4:45 p.m., Ballard Center, 708 Elm
5:15 – 6:30 p.m., Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority Resident Services, 1600 Haskell Ave., #187
Saturday 10 – 11:45 a.m., Green Hall, 3rd Floor Computer Lab, 1535 W. 15th St.

Sessions run Monday, Feb. 16 through Wednesday, April 15. No sessions will be held Saturday, Feb. 21, Saturday, Feb. 28, or March 14 – 21 (spring break).


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