Tax-filing services available for UA students

By Kerri Ginis
Arizona Daily Wildcat
February 9, 1996

Karen C. Tully
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Janice Silvyn, member of the accounting club Beta Alpha Psi. Beta Alpha Psi is offering a free tax preparation service to people who don't know how or cannot do it for themselves.


With the April 15 deadline approaching, many organizations are offering services to help people in filing their federal and state income taxes.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance organization, which is sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service, will be on campus to help people fill out their tax forms and answer any questions, Silvyn said.

Members of the Accounting Club, Beta Alpha Psi, and the American Bar Association will assist. All of the volunteers went through training by the IRS to learn how to fill out the tax forms, Silvyn said.

"We provide a free service to people who can't afford to pay a tax preparer," said Janice Silvyn, coordinator of VITA.

Last year, VITA helped 600 people with their tax forms and their goal is to help at least 2,000 this year, Silvyn said.

Those people who have an annual income of over $30,000 or have more complicated taxes will be unable to use the service, but volunteers will recommend where they can go for further assistance, Sylvin said.

Another service, TeleFile, helps people file their income taxes through the use of a touch-tone telephone, said Bill Brunston, public affairs specialist of the IRS district office.

TeleFile sent out tax booklets to targeted people with special conditions, such as single people with no dependents; people who have an annual income of less than $50,000; and people who live at the same address that they filed from in the previous year, Brunston said.

"We are anticipating 35,000 individuals will utilize TeleFile, and a good portion of those will be college students," he said.

People who received a tax booklet can access TeleFile 24 hours a day by calling and providing their tax information, Brunston said. TeleFile will then send the information to the IRS and any refund should be received in about 21 days.

Those that receive a tax booklet are given a personal identification number to help identify them, Brunston said.

"This is a very accurate system done on computers," he said.

H&R Block will also be on campus to assist people in filling out their tax forms for a reduced rate, said John Youstra.

"We will do tax preparation work for anyone who needs it," he said.

Those who use this service will be charged $29 for normal federal and state income tax preparation, Youstra said.

H&R Block also offers electronic filing for a fee of $20, which places the tax information into a computer and then sends it directly to the IRS, which can help people receive faster refunds, Youstra said.

"This is an opportunity for students to get their money back quickly in time for Spring Break," he said.

People who use H&R Block's services will also receive a free ticket to a concert the company is sponsoring tonight at 7 in the Student Union, Youstra said.

Filing and receiving income tax forms can also be done on the Internet through the World Wide Web, File Transfer Protocol, and Telnet.

To receive more information about accessing the Internet for tax information, people can contact the FedWorld Help Desk at (703) 487-4608

VITA services started offering help yesterday in Cactus Lounge Room 281. The service will be available through April Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. On Feb. 18, March 3 and April 13, the service will be provided from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

H&R Block's services will be on campus starting next week. The service will be provided on Sundays and Mondays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Student Union room 281, and on Thursdays and Fridays in Student Union Room 285.

People interested in receiving a tax booklet to access TeleFile or to get more information can call 1-800-829-4472.