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 and Muncie Community Schools who meet IRS guidelines (see below).
Move to Virtual Appointments
Federal and Indiana 2019 tax return filing and payment deadlines are extended through July 15, 2020. Ball State's VITA program is still here to help through the end of April 2020!
All VITA tax preparation for the remainder of the semester will be completed offsite using a secure document management process by supervised preparers and reviewers. Further information is available below.
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 495 - Practicum in Individual Income Tax and members of Beta Alpha Psi. These student have completed many hours of IRS-certified training and exams and have completed at least one undergraduate tax class.
All tax filings are reviewed for accuracy by an experienced tax preparer. 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 $56,000 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 $56,000 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.
To schedule an appointment, most clients will need to complete the Intake Form (13614-C) and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Clients who are not US citizens or permanent residents (green card holders) will need to complete the Nonresident Intake Form (13614-NR) and email it to email@example.com.
Within two 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, PhD 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 you have any concerns regarding our security measures, please email Jason Stanfield, PhD.
We will strive to complete your return and perform a quality review within five to seven business days. When complete, Dr. Stanfield or a graduate student site coordinator will contact you to setup a virtual session using WebEx to review your return and arrange for filing.
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)
For more information about VITA student volunteers and the on-campus program, email us.
To schedule your appointment, follow the instructions under "What do I need for a virtual appointment?" Virtual appointments are available until the end of April 2020.
Additional information from the IRS