GW Student Volunteers Offering Free Tax Return Help

Certified volunteers will prepare tax returns until April 14 ahead of Tax Day.

March 15, 2024

IRS tax form

Free tax preparation services are being offered by student volunteers from the George Washington University School of Business and GW Law ahead of Tax Day.

The free tax clinic will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays until April 14 in the Crain Center, which is located on the first floor of the Duques Building at 2201 G St. NW.

The service is offered for those with a household income of up to $75,000.  GW staff and students who meet the income requirements are eligible to take advantage of the free tax clinic. 

Led by accountancy professor William Stromsem, about 45 student volunteers have been working diligently to help community members get their maximum tax refund amount. 

“Our students work directly with clients, interviewing them, preparing the tax returns and showing them a refund that is often surprisingly high because our volunteers are trained to apply for tax credits that are intended to help support low-income families,” Stromsem said. 

He said students have already helped multiple families receive thousands of dollars in refunds, including a working mother of two who got a refund of an extra $10,000. 

“This brings needed money to local families and into our community,” Stromsem said. 

The student volunteers received training and passed IRS exams to become certified in the Internal Revenue Service Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program ahead of working at the clinic. 

Stromsem said the experience benefits the student volunteers by allowing them to work with clients in the community in a positive effort and to gain practical skill sets while helping others. 

Stromsem pointed out that students who aren’t listed as dependents on their parents’ tax return may be able to take advantage of educational tax credits of up to $2,500 in a tax reduction and a partial deduction of student loan interest. 

“We'll be happy to talk with students about this, and we also encourage students to check with their parents,” Stromsem said. “Even if they are dependents and can't claim education credits and deductions, they may wish to make their parents aware of these benefits.” 

While walk-in services are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, the clinic provides a limited number of reservations that can be made by calling and leaving a message at 202-994-9316.

If you plan to visit, be sure to bring the following items:

  • A photo ID.
  • Income documents such as W-2s and 1099s for various payments to you, such as Social Security or retirement income, state tax refunds and any investment income. 
  • Students should bring along their 1098-T on tuition expenses and 1098-E for student loans.
  • A copy of last year’s income tax return.
  • Records of expenses if you had substantial itemized deductions for charitable, medical expenses, taxes and so forth.
  • Payment amounts for childcare and the Social Security number or tax identification number for your nanny if you want to claim a child and dependent care credit.
  • Form 1095-A if you acquired health insurance through marketplace sites such as, DC Health Link or Maryland Health Connection.