ODU Offers Free Tax Return Preparation Assistance through VITA Program

VITA 2014


en Español  

Columbus, OH Ohio Dominican University (ODU) offers the only fully bilingual tax return preparation service in Central Ohio. Accounting students at ODU will provide free income tax return preparation assistance for qualified individuals through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.   

VITA offers free tax help to people with low-to-moderate income (generally $51,000 and below). Through this program, ODU Accounting students offer assistance with special credits, including earned income tax credit, child tax credit and credit for the elderly. 

The VITA program is offered at ODU’s main campus, 1216 Sunbury Road, in Erskine Hall, rooms 201, 202 and 205. 

“ODU’s VITA program offers our students an opportunity to share their time and talents with the community, learn good citizenship and community involvement, and live ODU’s mission,” said Bob Osborne, ODU assistant professor of Accounting and VITA program advisor 

The program begins Saturday, Feb. 22. The schedule for this season is as follows: 

  • Saturdays from10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Feb. 22, March 1, 8, 22, 29, April 5 and 12. Closed March 15 for Spring Break.) 
  • Wednesdays from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. (Feb. 26, March 5, 19, 26, April 2 and 9. Closed March 12 for Spring Break.) 
  • VITA site closes April 12. 

“We constantly explore ways to enhance and expand our VITA program,” Osborne said. “In 2012, we invited students from Bishop Watterson High School to participate, and last year, we added bilingual services. This year, we are proud to include nine students from ODU’s Adult & Continuing Education program.” 

Since first offering the VITA program in 2007, ODU faculty and students have helped prepare 1,715 tax returns. In spring 2013, 299 tax returns were prepared, saving clients approximately $76,000 in tax preparation fees. More than $224,000 in returns were processed in 2013.  

The Internal Revenue Service certifies as tax preparers participating Accounting students, usually juniors and seniors. Under the supervision of faculty members who are certified public accountants, students prepare federal, state, local school and city income tax returns. In addition to free tax return preparation assistance, the program offers free electronic filing (e-filing). 

To make an appointment with an ODU VITA tax preparer, call HandsOn Central Ohio at 211 in Franklin County or 614-221-2255, and ask to speak with the VITA scheduler. 

For additional information on the VITA program, please contact Bob Osborne at 614-251-4261 or osborner@ohiodominican.edu, or Maggie Gilmore, assistant professor of Accounting, at 614-251-4382 or gilmorem@ohiodominican.edu. 

Ohio Dominican University is a comprehensive four-year, private, liberal arts and master’s institution, founded in 1911 in the Catholic Dominican tradition. The University has approximately 2,600 students and offers undergraduate degrees in 45 majors as well as 11 graduate degree programs. Ohio Dominican uses a student-centered approach, with a commitment to quality teaching and learning.