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UB program offers free tax preparation

Low-income taxpayers can get free tax-preparation assistance from accounting students at the University at Buffalo School of Management under a program designed to help qualifying individuals and families save money and collect any refunds they may be eligible for.

The free service, which will be available on both the North and South campuses of UB, is being offered by IRS-certified students through the UB chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, an international honors organization for accounting and finance students, with help from the UB Accounting Association.

It is available to individuals and families earning less than $50,000. The IRS has estimated that using such free services can save taxpayers between $100 and $300 in preparation fees.

In particular, the free tax preparation is aimed at helping low-income tax filers apply for federal and state Earned Income Tax Credits, which are refundable credits that can reduce or eliminate income taxes by refunding taxes already withheld from wages. Those credits can provide an income boost of up to $5,112 for a family with two children or $5,751 for a family with three or more children.

Taxpayers are eligible if: they are working; are not claimed as someone else's dependent; are at least 25 years old but younger than 65; and have lived in the United States for more than half the year.

The credit helps more than 26 million low- and moderate-income American workers each year. Four of five eligible taxpayers claim it now, but others may be eligible for the first time because of changes in economic circumstances.

The tax preparation will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The sessions will take place from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25 and 26 in 100 Allen Hall on the South Campus; they will be held at the same times March 3, 4 and 31 and April 1, 7, 8 and 14 in 106 Jacobs Management Center on the North Campus.

Participants must bring proof of identification; an original Social Security card for each filer and dependent; dates of birth for themselves, their spouses and any dependents; wage and earning statements from all employers; interest and dividend statements; a copy of last year's federal and state tax returns, if available; and bank routing and account numbers, if direct deposit is desired.

Tax preparation for nonresident aliens is not included, as it requires special processing beyond the program's scope.

For more information, maps, directions or questions, call (716) 507-3563 or email mgt-freetaxprep@buffalo.edu.

email: jepstein@buffnews.com