During this past tax season, IRS-certified Ivy Tech Community College-Lafayette accounting students and United Way volunteers combined efforts to provide free tax preparation and e-filing services to 1,102low-to-moderate income earners. That represents a 22% increase over those served during the 2013 tax season. A total of 2,208 state, federal, prior year and amended income tax returns were filed between the Ivy Tech campussite and the United Way sites, one of which was located on Purdue University’s campus.
“We are excited that we have helped more income tax filers than ever before,” said Kelley Butler Heartfield, assistant professor of accounting at Ivy Tech and VITA office coordinator. “This is a great service to our community that provides real-world experience to accounting students and opportunities for United Way volunteers.”
VITA volunteers were trained and certified under the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. The program offers free tax assistance to taxpayers with household incomes less than $50,000. Returns were electronically submitted to the IRS and state at no cost to the taxpayer. The IRS provided the computer software used to prepare tax returns.
Eleven Ivy Tech volunteers and 54 United Way volunteers helped prepare and file returns. These volunteers helped taxpayers in Tippecanoe and surrounding counties receive $1,459,572 and $133,028 in net federal and state refundsrespectively. Combined that is more than 1.5 million dollars that was returned to taxpayers in our community. Ivy Tech and United Way also estimate an additional $175,650 was saved in tax preparation fees, based on an average of fees charged locally.
Ivy Tech and United Way plan to offer the VITA program again in 2015.
The Ivy Tech VITA office was sponsored by Mama Ines, Olive Garden, Pizza Hut, Chick-Fil-A, McAlister’s Deli, Little Ceaser’s Pizza, Christos, Moe’s Mexican Grill, Subway, and Dean of Ivy Tech’s School of Business Dr. Sherry Shipley.
About Ivy Tech
Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.
About United Way
United Way of Greater Lafayette improves our community by focusing on Education, Income and Health. We bring people, organizations and resources together to deliver results. You can give, advocate and volunteer. Join us and Live United.