Free tax preparation help available

  • Published: Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Changes to federal and state taxes could cause confusion for taxpayers. University of Missouri Extension has opened Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites to assist Missourians with their tax return preparation 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 MU assistant extension professor of personal financial planning.

VITA is an IRS-sponsored program that provides free tax preparation assistance for low- to moderate-income households. 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.

“Those who qualify can walk into any of our VITA sites and have their tax returns prepared,” Zumwalt said.

VITA sites can be found in libraries, community centers and other public locations during tax time. To find a VITA site near you, go to

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.

For informative articles from MU Extension on a variety of personal finance topics, visit

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Andrew Zumwalt

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