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Free tax preparation help available at Mizzou

University will open Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites for 2019 tax season

January 29th, 2019

Story Contact: Sheena Rice, 573-882-8353,

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Changes to federal and state taxes could cause confusion for students and Missouri families. The University of Missouri will open Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites to assist Missourians with their tax return preparation today through April 15.

“Taxes can be complicated for many families, and given the number of changes now facing taxpayers, this year is no exception,” said Andrew Zumwalt, an assistant extension professor of personal financial planning. “Our student tax preparers and staff have been through IRS training and certification and are prepared to help eligible families navigate their tax preparation for free.”

VITA is an IRS-sponsored program that provides free tax preparation assistance for low- to moderate- income-level homes. Trained community volunteers may help with special credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled.

The campus VITA site is located in the Office for Financial Success Room 162, Stanley Hall. It will be open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3:30 – 7 p.m. It will be open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

A location in downtown Columbia also will be open 9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays and from 4:15 – 7:45 p.m. on Mondays at the Family Impact Center at 105 E. Ash St. To search for VITA sites around Missouri, visit:

“Those who qualify can walk into any of our VITA sites and have their tax returns prepared,” Zumwalt said. “Not only do they get the help they need, but our students gain experience communicating with clients about money in a hands-on, applied way.”

Zumwalt encourages Missourians to stop by any of the MU Extension VITA sites around the state if they need help or have any questions about whether they qualify for an Affordable Care Act exemption or other tax credits. Most Missourians also can file their taxes for free online at:

In addition to tax return preparation assistance, most sites also offer free electronic filing. Last year, MU VITA sites served more than 10,000 Missouri families; approximately 2,000 filed on the MU campus.

The Department of Personal Financial Planning is in the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences.