Mendoza School of Business

Notre Dame-Saint Mary’s to provide free tax help

Published: January 30, 2012 / Author: Carol Elliott

Local taxpayers with annual incomes of $40,000 or less will
be able to get free tax preparation help from University of Notre Dame and
Saint Mary’s College accounting students, beginning Feb. 11 (Saturday).

The Vivian Harrington Gray Tax Assistant Program (TAP) will
offer services at nine sites in South Bend and Mishawaka through April 17. The
centers will be closed March 10-17, and April 7-9 due to the students’ spring
and Easter breaks. For a complete listing of centers and hours of operation,
call (574) 631-7863 or visit

TAP Director Ed Hums said the volunteer preparers assist
domestic clients, who are either U.S. citizens or have legal permanent resident
status, including unemployed taxpayers whose 2011 earnings were $40,000 or less
prior to collecting taxable unemployment benefits. TAP also helps international
clients, including University faculty, researchers, scholars, students and
staff. The program provides in-home visits to mobility-impaired taxpayers
unable to travel to a TAP center, as well.

Taxpayers visiting a center should bring:

Social Security cards for all individuals listed
on the return

A driver’s license or government issued identification

Copies of tax year 2010 federal and state tax

W-2 and 1099 forms

Any additional paperwork reporting income  

Any tax-related information received financial

Documentation of money spent for child support
or dependent care

Information concerning possible itemized
deductions, such as real estate taxes, personal property taxes, medical costs
and charitable contributions

Hums encourages people with more complicated returns – those
with capital gains or losses, business income, or a death in the family, for
example – to visit one of the four TAP sites that have certified public
accountants on duty. These include the St. Joseph County Main Library, as well
as its River Park and Western Avenue branches, and the Mishawaka-Penn-Harris
Main Library.

He also suggests calling the center in advance of the visit
to inquire about sign-up policies and hours of operation.

The TAP program was founded in 1972 by Accountancy Professor
Ken Milani to help area low-income residents receive much-needed income from their
federal and state tax returns, and to provide students with practical tax
preparation experience. Each year, more than 90 student volunteers as well as
Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s faculty members and local accountants volunteer at
the centers, filing nearly 4,000 returns annually. Alumni have started TAP
groups in their own communities after graduation, with more than 20 chapters now
operating across the country.


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