March 04, 2004

SIUC offers free tax return preparation assistance

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Community Outreach Partnership, in collaboration with SIUC's School of Accountancy, is offering free tax preparation for low- to moderate-income residents of north Carbondale and surrounding communities.

The Volunteer Income Technical Assistance Program offers free tax help for low- to moderate-income people (under $35,000 annual income) who cannot prepare their own returns. Volunteers, sponsored by various organizations, receive training to help prepare basic tax returns in communities across the country.

Tax Counseling for the Elderly provides free assistance to people age 60 and older. Trained volunteers from nonprofit organizations provide free tax counseling and basic income tax return preparation for senior citizens.

The community tax service is available at the Eurma C. Hayes Center, 441 E. Willow St., Carbondale, on the following dates and times: Wednesday, March 17, 5-8 p.m.; Saturday, March 20, 9 a.m.-noon; Wednesday, March 31, 5-8 p.m.; and Saturday, April 3, 9 a.m.-noon.

To make an appointment or to receive more information, call Kevin Clark, community development specialist with the Community Outreach Partnership, at 618/549-0341.

The Community Outreach Partnership is a program of SIUC's Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development, which is part of the Office of Economic and Regional Development. Other partners are Attucks Community Services Inc., the city of Carbondale and the Community Advisory Committee.

Serving others is among the goals of Southern@150, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.