CWU News

CWU to Offer Free Income Tax Preparation through April 13

It’s never too early to start working on those 1040s.

Central Washington University is offering free income tax preparation from February 7 to April 13. The service is offered through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. CWU accounting students, who are IRS-certified volunteers, will provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.

“This year we have expanded the service to three sessions a week,” said Ryan Cahalan, an assistant professor of accounting at CWU, who is the site administrator.

“People can make an appointment for Thursday, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Friday 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.; and Saturday, 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The number to call to reserve a spot is 509-963-3340. The scheduling office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.," he continued.

VITA provides confidential tax preparation and filing for taxpayers with relatively simple returns, including itemized deductions, interest and dividend income, retirement and disability income. The program serves taxpayers who make $53,000 or less per year, persons with disabilities, the elderly and limited English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns.

“We will have tax-preparers to help Spanish-speaking clients on special dates, so please request a bilingual tax preparer when you call for an appointment,” Cahalan said. “Our service is for everyone who needs help with a basic 1040 return. We’ve had clients come from Yakima, Moses Lake and Wenatchee, as well as from Kittitas County.”

Tax preparation takes place in Shaw-Smyser Hall, room 217, on the corner of University and Wildcat Way. Parking is free in CWU parking lots after 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and all day Saturday and Sunday.

To help people get their tax returns prepared quickly, people need to bring these essential items:

• Social Security cards or ITIN cards for everyone you will claim on the tax return
• Birthdates for everyone you will claim on the tax return
• Your spouse, if married filing jointly
• Photo ID for yourself and your spouse
Income Documents
• Last year’s tax return, if you have it
• W-2 forms for each job worked
• End of year 1099 forms for other income (interest, dividends, unemployment, etc.)
• End of year documents for Social Security and other benefits
• Bank routing & account numbers for direct deposit (if applicable)
Expense Documents
• Childcare expenses and provider name, address and tax ID number
• Mortgage interest and property tax statements if you own a home
• Documentation of college or other education expenses

For more information, or to make an appointment, call 509-963-3340 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.