VITA program offers free tax help to low–income residents

Miami Dade College (MDC) is continuing its long-standing commitment to help low-income, elderly, and non-English-speaking residents complete their 2012 taxes with the alwaysfree Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program.

The VITA program is administered and staffed by faculty and MDC business students who volunteer their time to help the public in preparing their tax forms. Students are trained beforehand and must pass an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) exam of basic rules, regulations, and tax preparation skills before they assist taxpayers. Divided into three groups, their functions are administrative, tax return preparation, and quality review.

“MDC’s VITA program was started 19 years ago as a component of the income tax course to provide a practical learning experience to our students and help those people in need from our community by offering a free service,” said Dr. Ana M. Cruz, chair of the School of Business at Wolfson Campus. “All MDC VITA sites have the ability to file electronically.”

Individuals interested in having their taxes done through the MDC VITA program must bring the following documents to the center with them:

• Social security card and the social security cards of any dependents to be claimed;

• Picture ID;

• W-2 earnings statement;

• 1099 MISC (for self-employed individuals only);

•1099 INT (interest income), and

• Any documents pertaining to expenses to be claimed (receipts, etc.).

Here is a list of area IRS/MDC VITA tax service locations, their schedules and contact info:

MDC Homestead Campus, 500 College Terr., Homestead, Room D-307, 5-8 p.m.; Wednesdays, Feb. 6 to Apr. 10, 305-237- 5143; Additional information: Languages spoken: English and Spanish.

MDC Kendall Campus, 11011 SW 104 St. Room 6343 2-4:30 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, Feb. 7 through Apr. 11, 305- 237-2375; Additional information: Customers only will be accepted until 3:30 p.m. and will serve a maximum of 12 customers each Tuesday and Thursday, Languages spoken: English and Spanish

MDC Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave., downtown Miami , Bldg. 7, Room 7109, 9 a.m. to noon; Saturdays, Feb. 2 to Apr. 13, 305-237-3151; Additional information: The center will be accepting customers until 11 a.m. and will serve a maximum of 30 customers per Saturday, whichever comes first, Languages spoken: English and Spanish.

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