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Liberty Law Students to Volunteer Free Tax Return Preparation Services

January 17, 2012

Liberty University School of Law will continue in its tradition of reaching out to the community by offering qualifying taxpayers free assistance in preparing income tax returns this spring.

This is the fourth year Liberty has participated in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Last year, Liberty University School of Law ranked No. 2 in the nation for providing the most pro bono hours for the VITA program out of 200 law schools approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).*

“The program has been very successful because of the commitment of our students. I am very proud of them for using their legal skills to help those in need,” said Mathew D. Staver, Dean of Liberty University School of Law.

Last spring, 35 Liberty law students prepared more than 400 income tax returns and volunteered a total of more than 400 hours. Student volunteers are certified by the IRS.

The VITA program will be held in the law school’s Mountain View Room. Hours are 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 27-29, March 1-2, and March 5-9, as well as noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 3, and Saturday, March 10. The program is not available on Sunday. While no appointment is needed during the listed hours, a limited number of appointments are available at other times upon request. The VITA program is available to low-to-middle-income taxpayers, generally defined as taxpayers earning $49,000 or less in 2011.

For more information about the VITA program, visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov.  For appointments, directions, and more information about the Liberty University School of Law VITA program, including the documents that are required for tax preparation, visit law.liberty.edu, or call Terrance Jones, (804) 516-1723.

 

*The Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association, 321 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654-7598, 312-988-5000.

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The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is a free service that assists taxpayers in the preparation of income tax returns.  The program at Liberty University School of Law is staffed by volunteer law students. Each volunteer is an IRS Certified VITA Volunteer Preparer. VITA is available to low- and middle-income taxpayers, generally defined as taxpayers earning $49,000 per year or less. For more information, visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov.

Location:
Liberty University School of Law, Campus North – Mountain View Room
1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA

Hours of Operation:
The Liberty School of Law VITA will be open February 27-29, March 1-2, and March 5-10.
Hours of operation:
Monday-Friday: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Saturday: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday: closed

No appointment is needed during these hours. A limited number of appointments are available outside these hours upon request.


Driving Directions:
From Candler’s Mountain Road, turn southwest at Mountain View Road (Thomas Road Baptist Church). The Law School is approximately ¼ of a mile on the left. Enter at the doors closest to the Law School sign. Directions to the VITA room will be posted.

From 29S/460W, take the University Blvd exit. Go straight at the intersection. The Law School is part of the Campus North complex on the right. Enter through the covered entrance at the end of the parking lot. Directions to the VITA room will be posted.

From 29N/460E, take the Candler’s Mountain Road exit. Turn right on Candler’s Mountain Road. Turn left on University Blvd. Turn right on Ericsson Drive. The Law School is part of the Campus North complex on the right. Enter through the covered entrance at the end of the parking lot. Directions to the VITA room will be posted.

Campus maps are also available on the University’s website.

Bus Information:
Greater Lynchburg Transit Company
provides service directly to Campus North. Take Route 4F to the Campus North stop. The Law School is west of the stop. Enter through the covered entrance at the end of the parking lot. Directions to the VITA room will be posted.

What to Bring:
•    Valid photo identification.
•    Social security card for you, your spouse and all dependents, if applicable.
•    Birth dates for primary, secondary and dependents on the tax return.
•    Tuition statement from your school, if applicable (Form 1098-T).
•    Wage and earning statement(s) from all employers
     (Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R).
•    Interest and dividend statements from your banks (Form 1099).
•    Bank routing number and account number for Direct Deposit
     (your bank checkbook).
•    Total amount paid for day-care, if applicable.
•    Day care provider's identifying number, if applicable.
•    Tax-free childcare benefits provided through an employer.
•    Divorced couples: If the non-custodial parent is taking the dependent
     exemption, please bring
     Form 8332 signed by the custodial parent or a copy of applicable
     page of divorce agreement (these must be filed with the return,
     whether e-filed or not).
•    For stock transactions: please know the purchase date and cost basis
      as well as sale date and sale price
     (note that the Liberty VITA will not prepare a complex Schedule D).

Optional Items to Bring
•    A copy of last year’s Federal and State tax returns, if available.
•    Current year's tax package, if received.
•    Records to substantiate any other item that you wish to include
     on your tax return (charitable contributions, etc.).

Other items taxpayers need to know or be aware of when they come to the VITA site:
•    Are you being claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return?
•    Who is claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for a child
      if parents are not filing jointly?

Liberty VITA will not be able to assist taxpayers with the following:
•    Prepare or e-file a return for a small business (Schedules C and F).
•    Prepare or e-file a return for rental property (Schedule E).
•    Prepare or e-file a complex Schedule D (capital gains/losses).
•    Prepare or e-file a form 8606 (nondeductible IRAs)
•    Prepare or e-file a form 8615 (minor’s investment income)
•    Multiple states

Contact:
Terrance Jones
tljones8@liberty.edu
804-516-1723