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Ashley Golledge
School of Law
785-864-5829

Law students, Legal Services for Students can help file your taxes for free

Fri, 02/14/2020

LAWRENCE – Are you a Kansas, Missouri or Illinois resident? Do you make less than $56,000 per year? Do you not itemize your tax deductions?

If the answer to each of these questions is “yes,” then you are eligible to receive free tax preparation services.

Each spring, law students from the University of Kansas provide free federal and state tax preparation services to those who qualify through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. This year’s program runs from Feb. 20 through April 15.

Legal Services for Students (LSS) is also offering free tax assistance through a VITA grant from the Internal Revenue Service. Any U.S. resident taxpayer may prepare and electronically file their federal and state tax returns for free via the LSS website. There is no income limit for tax assistance from LSS. International students and international staff at KU may also prepare their taxes using free software with no income limit.

“The tax preparation workshops are a great way for students and staff to learn about properly preparing and filing tax returns,” said Jo Hardesty, LSS director. “This year is unique because we are offering free access to software with no income limit for the first time.”

Last year, KU law students prepared nearly 200 federal and state tax returns. LSS directly prepared 251 returns in 2019 and assisted 1,076 individuals in preparing their own returns through tax workshops at the KU computer lab. For more information about tax assistance provided by LSS, contact the office at 785-864-5665 or legals@ku.edu.

The law school’s VITA program operates on a first-come, first-served basis, and the number of preparers varies with the site. Those seeking assistance are encouraged to arrive near the start of each session. Taxpayers should bring proof of identification and all relevant documentation, including proof of income, expenditures and health insurance-related documents. For more information, call 785-864-9227.

Stephen Mazza, dean of the law school and professor of tax-related law, serves as the VITA faculty coordinator. Law students Chris Rogers, Alexis Pearson and Tara Mollhagen are coordinating this year’s VITA program and are helping to prepare returns. 

“I’ve volunteered for the program for two years now and am looking forward to helping direct it this year,” Mollhagen said. “A lot of people I saw were barely making ends meet. Helping them get their refunds and having an immediate and direct impact on easing someone’s struggles is my favorite part of VITA.”

Spring 2020 VITA Schedule

Monday

6-8:45 p.m.

Green Hall, Wheat Law Library, 3rd Floor Computer Lab, 1535 W. 15th St.

Wednesday

3-5:45 p.m.

Green Hall, Wheat Law Library, 3rd Floor Computer Lab, 1535 W. 15th St.

Thursday

5:15-6:30 p.m.

Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority, 1600 Haskell Ave., Apt. 187

Saturday

9-11:45 a.m.

Green Hall, Wheat Law Library, 3rd Floor Computer Lab, 1535 W. 15th St.

Sessions run Feb. 20 through April 15. No sessions will be held Feb. 24 or March 4, as well as March 9-17 during the University of Kansas spring break.

Taxes are due April 15.



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