The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program helps taxpayers, which includes University of Connecticut students, collect the right forms and enter correct information when filing their taxes.
VITA offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, people with disabilities and limited English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns, according to the IRS website.
VITA workers are IRS-certified volunteers, according to the website. Fourth-year international computer science and engineering PhD candidate Xin Li said he found this helpful when filing his taxes.
“(Other assistance programs) have people help you that may not be as professional or experienced,” Li said.
Li said that when he filed his taxes by himself during the first year of being a PhD student, his return and his wife’s return did not add up.
“My original tax return was much lower than my wife’s,” Li said. “However, my income was higher. So that seemed weird.”
Li said in the next year, he received an email from VITA which offered him assistance in filing his taxes.
“They helped everything add up and make sense,” Li said.
Li said he only ran into trouble with filing through VITA during his first year using their service when he found out he had to mail his taxes after initially being told he could submit them online.
“I asked them if I needed to mail (his taxes) by myself to the IRS, and they said no, I could submit it through the (online) system,” Li said. “Then maybe one week later, I received a phone call saying my case is different and I need to mail it myself.”
Li said he has had a positive experience working with the VITA program, and this will be his third year taking advantage of its assistance.
Ashley Anglisano is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.