For about a dozen years, the Fort Hays State University Accounting Club has been getting busy around this time of year. They offer FHSU students and the surrounding community free income tax preparation for the 2008 tax season.
Dr. Charles Gnizak (pronounced KNEE-zack), Accounting Club sponsor and associate professor of accounting and information systems said it is a learning experience for the students to work with people and tax laws.
"Students get to work with real problems and get to see the mix of situations people have," said Gnizack.
About 40 students from the club and tax classes are able to prepare 1040EZ, 1040A and 1040 forms as well as Schedule A (itemized deductions), Schedule B (interest and dividends), and Schedule EIC (earned income credit) through the Volunteer Income Tax assistance (VITA) program for low to moderate income ($40,000 and below).
The students are not qualified to do Schedule C (business income), Schedule D (capital gains), Schedule E (rent income and royalties), Schedule F (farm income) and foreign student returns.
Last year, the program did about 220 returns. Gnizak said to have the same thing done by a commercial preparer is anywhere from $100 to $150.
No appointments are necessary, and the program operates on a first-come, first-served basis.
Participants must bring photo identification; Social Security cards for themselves, their spouse and any dependents; a current year's tax package if they received one; wage and earning statements from all employers and banks (W-2, W-2G, 1098, 1099-R); interest and dividend statements from banks (forms 1099); tuition statement from school (1098-T) and any other relevant information about income and expenses. Bank routing numbers and account numbers should be brought for direct deposit.
To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-jointly tax return, both spouses must be present to sign required forms.
Forms are filed over the Internet, and participants should receive refunds in less than three weeks.
Services will be available on:
Tuesdays from 5:30 to 8 p.m. -- Feb. 5. 12, 19, 26 and March 4, 11.
Wednesdays from 5:30 to 8 p.m. -- Feb. 6, 13, 20, 27 and March 5, 12.
Tax returns will be prepared on the FHSU campus in McCartney Hall.
For more information, contact the FHSU Accounting and Information Systems Department at (785) 628-4121 or Gnizak at (785) 628-4328.