FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David M. Grubb
(504) 286-5343 or (504) 810-3048
January 16, 2013
SUNO offers free tax preparation program
NEW ORLEANS, LA – For the second consecutive year Southern University at New Orleans will be performing free tax preparation and financial advising services as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance/ Tax Counseling for the Elderly (VITA/TCE) program. Beginning Monday, January 21, 2013, those earning $51,000 or less will be able to get assistance in preparing their state and federal tax returns. The students who will be working are IRS-certified volunteers and are able to give taxpayers information regarding Earned Income Tax Credits, Child Tax Credits, and Credits for the Elderly or Disabled.
“This is a very valuable service for our community,” said Dr. Simeon O. Okpechi, who supervises the program for the University. “First, we are able to save people the time, money and frustration that are typically associated with tax preparation. Secondly, we can protect people from predatory tax services that can charge interest rates of up to 200%. Third, we can start to help families understand what to do with their refunds. We know that families that practice saving, teach it to their children and those children in turn become more financially responsible as adults.”
Last year the SUNO program was able to service more than 150 families and this year they anticipate reaching twice that. Dr. Okpechi estimates that families saved nearly $90,000 as a result of the efforts of the program’s volunteers.
The SUNO VITA/TCE tax counseling center is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm through the April 15th deadline. Additional times may be made by appointment. Services will be offered in Trailer 5 on SUNO’s Lake Campus or in the College of Business Building in Room 106. For more information please call Dr. Simeon Okpechi at (504) 286-5305.
To have your tax return prepared, be sure to bring the following items:
- Proof of identification (Driver’s license or State ID)
- Social Security numbers for yourself, your spouse and any dependents
- W-2, W2G, 1099-R, or 1099-Misc from all employers
- Any 1099 forms (interest and dividend statements)
- Bank account routing and account numbers for direct deposit.
- Total paid for daycare services and daycare provider’s tax ID number
- To file taxes for married-filling-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the forms.
No e-file or paper returns may be filed prior to January 30, 2013