VITA- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

Each year, UNI accounting students prepare hundreds of tax returns free of charge.

UNI Business offers free tax help to low- to moderate-income people who cannot prepare their own tax returns. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program was established by the Internal Revenue Service to help those who may find it difficult to pay for tax preparation services. Certified volunteers receive training to help prepare basic tax returns in communities across the country. The UNI accounting department staffs a site to serve members of the Cedar Valley community.

How does UNI VITA work?

Senior or graduate-level accounting students prepare and e-file federal and state tax returns and answer any tax-related questions during peak tax preparation months. The program is an option for those who make $60 thousand or less, persons with disabilities and/or limited English speaking taxpayers. The UNI site is open Wednesday evenings during the months of February through April in the Curris Business Building on the University of Northern Iowa campus.  

Appointments may be scheduled by leaving a message at 319-273-2968 with the best time to call back or sending an email request to A representative will call or email within 24 to 48 hours to schedule the appointment.

Documentation required for preparing tax returns

  • Social Security Cards
    Bring for taxpayer, spouse, and dependents
  • Identification
    Valid Photo Identification
  • Passport
    For foreign students and scholars ONLY
  • Prior Year Tax Returns
    A copy of last year’s Federal and Iowa tax returns
  • Form W-2
    Wage and Tax Statement (Acquire one from each employer)
  • Forms 1099
    Interest, dividends and any other miscellaneous income
  • Form 1098T
    Tuition payment statement (also bring institution billing statement)
  • Form 1098E
    Student loan interest statement
  • NEW Proof of Health Insurance
    Information as to health insurance coverage for you and your dependents (Form 1095-A from the Health Insurance Marketplace, Form 1095-B or 1095-C)
  • Banking Information
    Account and routing numbers for checking or savings account
  • List of Additional Income Information
    Income from disability, interest, state tax refund, alimony, tip, pension, IRA, unemployment, social security, self employment, gambling, awards and other sources of income.
  • List of Additional Expense Information
    Expenses from IRA, other retirement accounts, alimony paid (needs social security number of recipient), education, un-reimbursed medical, home mortgage payments, charitable contributions, real estate taxes and any other sources of expenses

UNI VITA will not prepare

  • Income is greater than $60,000
  • Sale of business property
  • Prior Year Tax Returns
  • Foreign Tax Credits
  • Military Complex Returns
  • Schedule C
  • Rental Income
  • ITIN Returns
  • Married Filing Separate Returns

ONLY Federal and Iowa returns will be prepared. Both spouses must be present for married filing joint returns. Only a limited number of returns will be prepared each night.

For more information on this year's UNI VITA site open dates and times, please email the Department of Accounting or call 319-273-2394.