GWSB Offers Free Tax Return Prep for Low-Income Filers

Volunteers will assist with tax return preparation every weekend until April 14.

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GWSB will volunteer tax return preparation services to the GW community.
February 20, 2018

By Briahnna Brown

The George Washington University School of Business is helping the community by preparing free income-tax returns for taxpayers with incomes of no more than $35,000 for single filers or $54,000 for families of four.

Accountancy Professor William Stromsem explained that the service—which is open to those outside of the GW community as well—involves 25 accounting students and two accounting professors as volunteers. In partnership with Community Tax Aid, Inc., a Washington, D.C., program serving low-income taxpayers, the service gives the student volunteers a clinical program and the Foggy Bottom community free tax return preparation.

Additionally, low-income taxpayers may be entitled to a refund of taxes they didn’t pay with an earned income credit, Mr. Stromsem explained. This is especially beneficial for those whose income is so low that no taxes were withheld from their income.

“It sounds a little unusual, but it’s a way that the federal government assists low-income workers and their families—that can be several thousand dollars,” Mr. Stromsem said.

The free tax return preparation clinic is operating in Duquès Hall on weekends until April 14: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays (except for Easter Sunday on April 1). Volunteers will accept taxpayers on a walk-in basis.

Some things you need to bring with you:

  • Social Security cards or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number letters for you, your spouse, dependents and members of your household
  • Photo ID for yourself—and if filing a joint return, for your spouse
  • Income documents for each job such as a W-2, 1099-MISC or list of cash payments for yourself and your dependents from 2017
  • 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; bring Form 1098-T if you had college expenses
  • Your bank account and routing number for a faster refund, so it can be directly deposited into your account
  • A copy of your 2016 tax return, if you have one

Students should check with parents to see if they are claiming you as a dependent before coming to the tax return prep. The volunteers will prepare state returns only for Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

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 booking service, 1099-C cancelled debt or if you are in the United States on an A, H, F, J, L, M or Q visa. 

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