Students from the College of Business Administration at the University of Missouri–St. Louis are offering free tax preparation services to low-income taxpayers and senior citizens Feb. 11 through April 16 at various locations.

The service is part of the award-winning Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. VITA has been offered by UMSL for 39 years. Business students and faculty prepare tax returns at four locations throughout the St. Louis area.

The times, dates and locations are:

• 9 a.m. to  5p.m. Fridays, St. Louis Public Library, Barr Branch, 1701 South Jefferson Ave. in St. Louis, 314-771-7040

1 to 3 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, Ferguson Municipal Public Library, 35 N. Florissant Road in Ferguson, Mo., 314-521-4820

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, St. Charles City-County Library, Deer Run Branch, 1300 North Main St. in O’Fallon, Mo., 636-980-1332

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, St. Louis Public Library, Schlafly Branch, 225 N. Euclid Ave. in St. Louis, 314-367-4120

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance received a 2010 Internal Revenue Service VITA award for preparing the third most returns of a season. UMSL’s program prepared 673 returns filed last year.

In 2009, VITA received the Internal Revenue Service’s National Partnership Award for Outstanding Community Service in the category of Sustained Superior Performance.

Each year, students undergo several weeks of tax preparation training, testing and certification. They are informed of new and updated tax laws, as well as advancements to the software, Tax Wise, which is used for the VITA program.

More than 1,700 business students, alumni and faculty have offered free tax preparation services to low-income taxpayers and senior citizens at several locations throughout the St. Louis area since 1973. VITA is the largest university-based personal income tax service in the region. More than 3,000 tax returns were filed through the program in just the last three years.

VITA is sponsored by the Gamma Psi Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, UMSL’s Department of Accounting, GECC Tax Coalition and the IRS.

Call 314-516- 7188 or visit more information on the VITA program.

Jen Hatton

Jen Hatton