Free tax prep help offered at YSU

YSU students in Youngstown, Ohio offer free tax help.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Youngstown State University students and volunteers began their tax preparation program Saturday.

For the students, tax season means helping the community with their returns, from 1099 to W-2. Saturday was the first of nine events where anyone can come in for free assistance on income taxes.

“The first person didn’t bring last year’s return with her, which is a lot easier for to do it if they bring last year’s return. We were still able to do it, no problem,” said Carla May, YSU student.

Dr. Raymond Shaffer with the Lariccia School of Accounting and Finance said it makes sense to get help when filing returns. He said mistakes such as a birth date or social security can kick out a tax return. Also, the Affordable Care Act has changed how some returns are figured.

YSU students Maria Bukovinsky said those who need to consider their health insurance this year will get a form from the government.

“If you have coverage through the Marketplace, the government should send you a from 1095 that you should be bringing in while you get your taxes done,” Bukovinsky said. “If they had coverage for the entire year, it is a lot easier. If they only had coverage for three months for four months, then it gets a little more complicated.”

Shaffer says to only start working on tax returns once all the forms from 2014 are in.

“Don’t try to rush into things if you don’t think you have all your information. Just gather all your information and make sure everything is reported, and just take your time and work through it. That is the biggest thing,” Shaffer said.

Items needed included:

  • Social security card, photo ID
  • Wage and earnings statements (Form W-2) from all employers
  • Interest, dividend and investment/stock sales statements (Forms 1099)
  • A copy of last year’s tax return if available and other relevant information about income and expenses.
  • If you are not sure whether it is needed, bring it!

Assistance is offered every Saturday through April 11 at YSU’s Williamson Hall, 221 North Hazel Street, every Saturday through April 11. Walk-ins are welcome. For more information or to make an appointment, call the Lariccia School of Accounting and Finance at 330-941-2507.

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