Clayton State
students offer free tax help

By Curt Yeomans


Local taxpayers will have nine opportunities over the next six weeks to get free tax return assistance from students in Clayton State University's Accounting Club.

The club's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program will be available on Wednesdays and Saturdays to taxpayers whose income was less than $42,000 in 2008. The first session starts at 9 a.m., Saturday.

The students will not provide assistance to persons with small business returns, those who are self-employed or have out-of-state tax returns.

The tax help sessions will be held in the School of Business, next to the James M. Baker University Center, on the Clayton State campus, 2000 Clayton State Blvd., Morrow.

The students providing the assistance are majoring in accounting and business law at Clayton State. They are required to complete an income tax course provided by the school, and they receive extra training and testing from representatives from the Internal Revenue Service, according to the university.

"Volunteers get the opportunity to learn more about tax law," Judith Ogden, an assistant professor of business law, said in a statement from the university. "They also gain experience preparing returns, using software, and working with clients."

The Wednesday dates for the free tax assistance are Feb. 18, Feb. 25, March 18, and March 25. Students will be available from 2 to 4 p.m., on those days.

The Saturday tax help dates are Feb. 14, Feb. 21, Feb. 28, March 21, and March 28. The accounting students will be available from 9 a.m., to 1 p.m., on those days.

Taxpayers who qualify for the assistance must bring several documents for review by the accounting students. These include:


Photo identification.


Social Security cards for the taxpayer, spouse and dependents.


Dates of birth for the primary and secondary taxpayers, as well as any dependents.


The current tax package, if the taxpayer received one.


Wage statements, including the W-2 or W-2G from all employers


The 1099 form, which shows interest and dividend earnings


Copies of last year's federal and state income tax returns, if available.


Bank routing and account numbers for direct deposit.


If child day care was used, then the day care provider's identification number will be needed.


Other documents detailing income and expenses.

For more information about the VITA program, call (678) 466-4527.