Elon Law students partner with Legal Aid of North Carolina to provide free tax assistance to Triad residents

Forty-three students from Elon University School of Law will be partnering with Legal Aid of North Carolina to offer residents of the Triad region of low to moderate income free assistance in preparing tax returns and transmitting those returns to the IRS.

The effort, offered through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, will help to save taxpayers money, get fast and accurate refunds, and make sure individuals and families get tax credits for which they are eligible. Persons who have incomes of no more than $42,000 are eligible to participate.

Volunteering students from Elon University School of Law and individuals from Legal Aid of North Carolina will be available to help to prepare income tax returns free of charge at the Greensboro Legal Aid office, beginning Saturday, February 21, 2009, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., with additional opportunities available by appointment in the weeks leading up to the tax filing deadline of April 15, 2009. Although the program is happy to accept walk-ins when volunteers are available, clients with appointments will receive priority service. Eligible Greensboro residents who are interested in taking advantage of this program should call Greensboro’s Legal Aid office at (336) 272-0148 to schedule an appointment and for directions.

Andrew Ackley, one of the Elon Law students volunteering for the VITA program and president of the school’s Business Law Association, said, “We welcome and encourage those who qualify for tax filing assistance to schedule an appointment to work with us. This program can save tax filers significant amounts of money and speed up the processing time for refunds due to many Greensboro residents. We want to help as many people as possible who might otherwise pay costly fees for tax filing assistance or miss important refunds that they deserve.”

Kristin Cook, another Elon Law student volunteering for the program and president of the school’s Public Interest Law Society, said, “As we prepare to enter the legal profession, we are looking for opportunities to serve people who might not otherwise have access to legal assistance. We feel that our education in the law presents us with an opportunity and a special responsibility to contribute to the well-being of Greensboro and communities across the region, and this program is one way we are hoping to make a difference. We thank Legal Aid of North Carolina for the opportunity to join them in offering the VITA program this year.”

Residents of the Triad who plan to participate in this program will need to bring valid photo identification, social security card, and all wage and earnings statements (Forms W-2, W-2G, and or 1099). Those seeking direct deposit from tax filings should also bring a copy of a voided personal check.

For more information on the VITA program, visit this IRS website.

For more information about Legal Aid of North Carolina, click here

Elon University School of Law students volunteering for this program include members of The Business Law Association and the Public Interest Law Society of the law school.  Andrew Haile, professor of law at Elon University School of Law, is the faculty advisor for this program.