BISMARCK, ND — There’s no need to spend hard-earned money to have your taxes prepared. No need to be confused by federal and state tax forms. Have no fear —

University of Mary’s Tax Team is here. Now students, low-income taxpayers, disabled and the elderly can count on accounting students in the Gary Tharaldson School of Business to decipher the language, crunch the numbers, and do their federal and North Dakota state tax preparation for FREE if they have an income of $54,000 or less.

“We are all about serving others first at the University of Mary,” says Dr. Rhoda Sautner, CPA, University of Mary associate professor of accounting and the site coordinator.

University of Mary’s Tax Team is made up of 15 Mary students who are IRS Certified VITA/TCE Volunteer Preparers. They will volunteer their time and talents as part of the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program every Saturday from 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Feb. 18, and 25, March 11, 18 and 25. This FREE service will be provided at the Butler Center on 505 S. 7th Street in Bismarck.

Over the years, University of Mary students have completed hundreds of tax returns. “This gives our students real-life experience in addition to what they are learning in the classroom,” adds Sautner. “This helps our students’ learning process and gives them a chance to work with people — which they love to do. It is a wonderful opportunity for both our students and the people we serve.”

Students at the University of Mary, low-income taxpayers, the disabled, and the elderly can take advantage of this service. No appointments are needed. Sautner says taxpayers can e-file federal and North Dakota state returns. Mary’s Tax Team hopes to provide this free service to the general public and college students from Mary, United Tribes Technical College and Bismarck State College, every year.

Those who plan to use this service should bring the following documents:

  • Proof of identification
  • Social Security Cards for themselves, their spouse and dependents and/or a Social Security Number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration
  • Birthdates for themselves, and their spouse and dependents on the tax return
  • Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 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)
  • To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.

If anyone has questions about the tax service or is unsure if he or she qualifies can call Janell Pederson at 355-8029 or Rhoda Sautner at 355-8358.