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EKU Accounting Class Partners with Local Agencies for Free Income Tax Preparation

EKU accounting students work with VITA clients to prepare their tax returns

An Eastern Kentucky University accounting class is again partnering with the Central Kentucky Economic Empowerment Project and Kentucky River Foothills Community Action Agency to offer basic income tax preparation for those making $54,000 or less.

Students in Accounting 322, Income Tax I, will provide free income tax preparation service. Dr. Laura Barthel, instructor in EKU’s Department of Accounting, Finance and Information Systems, explained that the income tax preparation service is the traditional IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) service.

In the VITA program, the IRS-certified student volunteers meet face-to-face with taxpayers to prepare tax returns for electronic filing. While meeting with the taxpayer, students prepare federal and state income tax returns, which are then reviewed by Dr. Barthel or another reviewer before being submitted for e-file or printed for paper filing. 

Barthel stated that “The VITA program is a great opportunity for the students and for campus and the surrounding community. Students apply what they are learning in the classroom, and their learning is enhanced. Community members receive a valuable service at no cost.” VITA services are available to anyone in Richmond and Madison County who qualifies, and to EKU students, faculty and staff as well, Barthel added. 

The EKU students will be available in Room 269 (The Business Library and Academic Commons) of the Business and Technology Center (adjacent to the EKU Center for the Arts) on the following four dates:

  • Thursday, Feb. 28, 4:30-7:00 pm
  • Friday, March 1, 8:30 am - 3:00 pm
  • Thursday, Mar. 7, 4:30 - 7:00 pm
  • Friday, Mar. 22, 8:30 am - 3:00 pm
  • Friday, April 5, 8:30 am - 3:00 pm

Appointments can be scheduled through the United Way of the Bluegrass, by simply dialing 2-1-1; select Option 5; or contact Dr. Barthel at 859-622-7892.

Clients should bring the following information to the site:

  • Proof of identification - picture ID
  • Social Security Cards for you, your spouse, and dependents
  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter for you, your spouse, and dependents
  • Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN
  • Birth dates for you, your spouse, and dependents on the tax return
  • Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-MISC from all employers
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
  • A copy of last year\'s federal and state returns if available
  • Proof of bank account routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit, such as a blank check
  • Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider\'s tax identifying number (the provider\'s Social Security Number or the provider\'s business Employer Identification Number) if appropriate
  • To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms
  • All healthcare related forms (1095)

For more information, see or contact Barthel at 859-622-7892 or at

Contact Information

Laura Barthel

Published on January 29, 2019

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