"The time fast approaches, when we have to 'pay our fair share' of the bill to run our country," said UNCP business Professor Stephen Bukowy.
To make that burden a little easier - or at least the paperwork anyway - UNC Pembroke's VITA or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program will prepare income tax returns again this year - free, according to Dr. Bukowy.
"The accounting students and faculty are here to help provide income tax assistance, and it's free," Dr. Bukowy said. "We are not in competition with other income tax preparers. This service is intended for low income and elderly taxpayers."
To set up an appointment, call Dr. Bukowy at 910.521.6668.
Four students, all in the accounting program at UNCP's School of Business, are working on the VITA team. These volunteers have all taken and passed the VITA income tax preparers test, and Dr. Bukowy checks their work for completeness and accuracy.
"It is the 10th year that we have performed this service at UNCP," Dr. Bukowy said. "I don't know why others do it, but I believe that we should give back to the community based on our talents and skills, so that is why I do it."
The students benefit because they learn how to interview and deal with different people. The accounting students also learn how to fill out the tax forms, Dr. Bukowy said.
The VITA team will prepare 1040EZ, 1040A and 1040 income tax forms. VITA will also fill out schedules and forms for itemizing and Social Security. They also prepare the necessary forms to obtain various credits such as the child credit, the childcare credit and the earned income credit.
"Generally, if the return is not too difficult, we will do it," he said. "We don't do farms, corporations, partnerships, rental properties, trusts or estates."