GWSB Offers Free Tax Return Prep Clinic

Certified volunteers will prepare tax returns until April 14.

taxes
February 08, 2019

The George Washington University School of Business is helping the community with a free income tax return preparation clinic for those earning $55,000 or less.

In partnership with Community Tax Aid, Inc., a Washington, D.C., metro area program that serves low-income taxpayers, GW volunteers will prepare income tax returns for the Foggy Bottom community.

Accountancy Professor William Stromsem said that the student volunteers from GWSB and GW Law are trained to provide quality returns and can help those that visit the tax clinic take advantage of refunds they may not know were available to them.

“Students can often get back the taxes that were withheld by their summer employer,” Mr. Stromsem said. “Our volunteers can help with work-study and scholarship income as well as with various education credits.

“Low-income employees can often get tax refunds even if they didn't have any taxes withheld with a federal Earned Income Credit,” he added, “and there are also possible D.C. refunds for low-income renters.”

The tax prep clinic is offered on a first come, first served basis from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays at Duquès Hall (enter on 22nd Street). You can get assistance preparing your own return with the help of a certified coach from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays .

Things you need to bring with you:

  • Social Security cards or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number letters for you, your spouse and your dependents
  • Photo ID for yourself—and if filing a joint return, for your spouse
  • Income documents for each job held in 2018, such as a W-2, 1099-MISC or a list of cash payments for yourself and your dependents
  • End-of-year statements from Social Security, bank interest, Supplemental Security Income, etc.
  • Form 1095-A if you acquired health insurance through marketplace sites such as Healthcare.gov, DC Health Link or Maryland Health Connection
  • Records of child care, education and medical expenses, savings and student loans
  • Form 1098-T if you had college expenses in 2018 such as tuition, fees, books and other mandatory expenses
  • Your bank account and routing number for a faster refund, so it can be directly deposited into your account
  • A copy of your 2017 tax return, if you have it.

Recent changes in tax policy eliminated both personal and dependency exemptions, but students should check with parents to be sure they have no conflicts regarding filing status or education tax benefits.The volunteers will prepare state returns only for Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. A certified coach will assist you in preparing a return for all other states during Thursday sessions.

Also, volunteers are unable to prepare returns for anyone with a complicated investment income, self-employment or business income from an LLC, rental income, gross income of more than $5,000 from driving a taxi or ride sharing service, 1099-C cancelled debt or if you are in the United States on an A, H, F, J, L, M or Q visa. Volunteers are also unable to prepare nonresident alien returns because of the variety and complexity of issues, but help on filing a 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ is available through Community Tax Aid.

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