Free, Certified Tax Preparation

Need help filing your state and federal taxes? IRS-certified accounting students offer tax preparation and e-filing to students, employees, and families of Ball State University, Muncie Community Schools and other Delaware County taxpayers who meet IRS guidelines (see below). 

New for 2022: Self Preparation with Skilled Assistance

Save time and prepare your own return, with assistance from our skilled volunteers just an email away! You can access a FREE web-based version of TaxSlayer, provider of both consumer and professional tax software solutions, with an easy-to-use and intuitive interface if your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is less than $73,000. Best of all, using this virtual facilitated self-assistance (FSA) program still gives you access to our preparers and their knowledge via email or Zoom. 

To obtain access, email vita@bsu.edu with the subject SEND ME THE LINK. You will promptly receive a link to get started. If you require assistance with your return or would like to arrange an appointment for us to review your return, email vita@bsu.edu and include in the subject line FSA.

Virtual Preparation and Review

At this time, VITA tax preparation for 2022 is completed offsite using a secure document management process by supervised preparers and reviewers. Further information is available below. Regrettably, we are unable to provide in-person services at this time.


If you have questions or concerns, email us.

  

 Certified Help from Ball State Students

State and federal tax filings are prepared by students enrolled in ACC 415 - Practicum in Individual Income Tax and members of Beta Alpha Psi. These students have completed many hours of training and exams to be IRS Certified Volunteer Tax Preparers.

All tax filings are reviewed for accuracy by an IRS certified quality reviewer. No sensitive information is maintained by the program. Tax returns are filed electronically and use direct deposit for refunds when possible. Most clients will have their tax refund deposited within two weeks of filing.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) is administered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic tax filing to qualified individuals (generally individuals and households making less than $58,000 per year). All volunteers must complete many hours of IRS-certified training and exams to participate in the VITA program.

Most individuals and married couples with incomes less than $58,000 per year are eligible for assistance with their tax preparation and e-filing for state and federal taxes. Some taxpayers may have less common circumstances that prevent a VITA site from preparing your return, per the Internal Revenue Service guidelines. See https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p3676a.pdf for examples. In order to serve as many clients as possible, we may be unable to serve those whose returns require excessive data entry, such as those with many stock or other security sales. 

Please note that we cannot assist non-US resident taxpayers until March 16, 2022.

To get started, most clients will need to complete the Intake Form (13614-C) and Consent Form (1446) and email both to vita@bsu.edu. Clients who are not US citizens or permanent residents (green card holders) will need to complete the Nonresident Intake Form (13614-NR) and the Consent Form (14446) and email it to vita@bsu.edu. (Note that we are unable to prepare non-US residents tax forms until March 16, 2022.)

Within a few days of receipt of a completed intake form, a site coordinator will contact you with a link to a secure folder accessible only to Jason Stanfield, CPA and three graduate student site coordinators. This email will direct you to upload your tax documents and proof of identity to the secure folder.

If upon our review of your Consent and Intake forms there are additional questions which need answered prior to your filing appointment, an IRS Certified volunteer will email you to set up a short virtual meeting. 

If you have any concerns regarding our security measures, please email Jason Stanfield, CPA.

We will strive to complete your return and perform a quality review within 10 to 14 business days. When complete, Dr. Stanfield or a graduate student site coordinator will contact you to setup a virtual filing appointment to review your return and arrange for filing. 

During this session, we will verify and ask follow-up questions about your completed intake form and ask to see your photo ID and Social Security card for IRS-required authentication. This virtual session will be completed using a secure video conferencing platform. This can generally be completed on your smartphone or on a PC with a webcam and microphone. After we complete this meeting, you will sign your return electronically, and after receiving signed copies, we will electronically file your return.

Examples of documents you may be requested to upload for preparation of your tax return:

  • Proof of identification (photo ID, such as a driver’s license)
  • Social Security card (a readable image of your Social Security card on your smartphone is acceptable)
    • Social Security cards for your spouse and dependents, if applicable
    • An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter may be substituted for you, your spouse, and your dependents if you do not have a Social Security number
    • Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN
  • Birth dates for you, your spouse, and dependents on the tax return
  • Wage and earning statements (Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-Misc) from all employers
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)

Additional Information

For more information about VITA student volunteers and the on-campus program, email us.

To schedule your assistance, follow the instructions under "How do I get assistance from VITA volunteers?" Virtual assistance is available through early April 2022.

Additional information from the IRS