Student Volunteers Provide Tax Assistance

Date: February 25, 2013
Media Contact:

Patti Desrochers
Director of Communications
pattid@tourolaw.edu
(631) 761-7062

Touro Law Center a Designated Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Site, Students Volunteer to Provide Assistance to Community Members

Central Islip, NY – Touro Law students are providing free tax help to low and moderate income community members who need help preparing their own tax returns through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). Through this public service project, sponsored by the United States Internal Revenue Service and being overseen by Bethpage Federal Credit Union, more than 25 student volunteers have been trained and can file tax returns directly from the law school, a designated site for the program. This is the 4th year Touro Law students have participated in the project.

Touro Law’s VITA office is located in the William Randolph Hearst Public Advocacy Center on the second floor of the law school, and operates on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 – 7 pm through the filing deadline in April. Touro Law students will also be volunteering at Bethpage Federal Credit Union in Bay Shore and Central Islip, on Wednesdays from 6 – 9 pm and Saturdays from 3 – 6 pm from February 8 through the filing deadline in April.

"The VITA Program is great for both our students and the community members we serve,” said Dean Patricia Salkin. “Our students are able to take the substantive knowledge they learn in the classroom about the complex system of income tax law and regulations and then apply their knowledge to help others while honing their abilities to counsel clients and provide much needed assistance to local community members.”  Dean Salkin further commented that, “The collaboration with Bethpage Federal Credit Union has proven successful and I’m glad we have been able to maintain this working relationship for the benefit of the community.”

Residents interested in participating in this program are asked to bring: photo identification; social security cards for individuals, spouses and family members; current year’s tax package if you received one, wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, from all employers; interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099); a copy of last year’s Federal and State returns if available; bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit; total paid for day care; day care providers identifying number. Please note: to file taxes electronically on a married filing joint tax return, both spouses must be present.

Alyssa Guarino, co-site coordinator for the student group and an active member for the second year, stated, “It is an extremely rewarding experience to know that we are able to help the local community by working together to provide a free service to those in need of assistance with their tax return.”

For additional information, please contact (631) 650-2318 or email vita@tourolaw.edu.

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