Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) - Overview

The SMU Dedman School of Law’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program helps individuals in the Dallas community by preparing tax returns using IRS software and transmitting the returns electronically to the IRS. SMU law students help to prepare basic income tax returns free of charge at designated IRS/VITA sites for individuals of low to moderate income, individuals with disabilities, non-English speaking taxpayers, and the elderly.

Confirmation Agreement for VITA – due by January 22, 2016 (for SMU law students)

VITA Site List - tentative (final dates and time for 2016 coming soon)

Mandatory VITA TestsJanuary 22, 2016 due by 5 p.m.; you may submit tests later but do NOT schedule site hours until all tests are completed. After completing the required tests; then print the Volunteer Standards of Conduct Agreement (Form 13615) with test results INCLUDING your contact information, and submit to Lynn Moubry in the Public Service Office (Carr Collins Jr. Hall, suite 320).  The Sponsoring partner name/site name is:  SMU Dedman School of Law.

Schedule Sites - You may begin scheduling your hours on the SMU VITA website beginning Sunday, January 24, 2016.
Confirmed Dates/Times - available on January 25, 2016.

Logistics of the VITA program are as follows:

  1. All SMU law student participants must complete the Mandatory VITA Tests due by Friday, January 22nd.  You may submit tests later; however, do NOT schedule site hours until all tests are completed and the Volunteer Agreement (form 13615) has been submitted to Lynn Moubry in the Public Service Office.
    ***Note these are required IRS/VITA tests; you will receive up to 8 Public Service hours for completing the required tests.***
    The required IRS/VITA tests must be completed online BEFORE scheduling your site hours.
  2. Each SMU law student plans his/her own attendance schedule choosing a recommended site from the SMU VITA Site List. To request a specific date/time, please use the online Schedule Requests link before the VITA program begins (Jan 26, 2016 - Apr 15, 2016). If corrections need to be made to your schedule, please email Lynn Moubry [Lmoubry@smu.edu], who monitors this site. You may check your requested schedule by using the Confirmed Dates/Times link.
  3. Law students will keep a weekly record with the number of hours dedicated with VITA on a Student Log form.
  4. Upon completion of 30 hours (22 hours plus 8 hours for tests), a Supervisory Report form will need to be signed by the VITA site coordinator/manager to certify completion.
  5. Please submit both the Student Log and Supervisory Report to Lynn Moubry [Lmoubry@smu.edu] in Carr Collins Jr. Hall – suite 320. Fulfillment of the Public Service graduation requirement will be forwarded to the law registrar by Lynn Moubry with a confirmation copy emailed to the student at the beginning of each month.

Specifically regarding hours of credit:

  1. A student need not earn a full 30 hours in the VITA program to receive Public Service credit. Most students complete 30 hours through the program, but a student is allowed (but not recommended) to split his/her public service requirement hours with another program to complete 30 hours.
  2. Credit for the tests will be on a "matching" basis.
    For example, if a SMU law student completes the tests for 8 hours and works 8 hours in the field (8 field + 8 training/tests), then 16 hours of credit will be awarded.
    If a SMU law student completes the tests for 8 hours and works 3 hours in the field, only 6 hours (3 field + 3 training/tests) will be awarded.
    Finally, if a SMU Law student completes the tests for 8 hours and works 22 hours in the field, then 30 hours
    (22 field + 8 training/tests) will be awarded, which will fulfill the SMU Public Service graduation requirement. 

Specifically regarding site locations:

  1. A student may attend any site listed on the SMU VITA Site List during the day and time associated with the particular site. Remember that site positions have a limited number of computers available each day and will be closed when filled.
  2. If a student has requested a certain site location/time and can not attend, he/she MUST phone the VITA site coordinator BEFORE such non-attendance or call Lynn Moubry at 214-768-2761 or email Lynn Moubry: [Lmoubry@smu.edu].  This will give the site time to find a replacement.

Please email Lynn Moubry with questions regarding the VITA program. Please complete a Public Service Commitment form Confirmation Agreement form, and return it to Lynn Moubry in Carr Collins Jr. Hall, suite 320 if you plan to participate.

Thanks for your interest, and we'll see you in January!

Lynn Moubry, Public Service Program Assistant
Lmoubry@smu.edu
214-768-2761

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