VITA- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

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

Wilson 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?

 Junior, senior, and graduate-level accounting students prepare federal and state tax returns and answer tax-related questions during peak tax preparation months. The program is for those who make $64 thousand or less, senior citizens, persons with disabilities and/or limited English-speaking taxpayers. The UNI site is open Wednesday evenings from mid-February through the first week of April in the Curris Business Building on the University of Northern Iowa campus.  

UNI VITA operates on a walk-in basis for face-to-face tax preparation and drop-offs for virtual tax preparation. For questions, please send an email to A representative will respond within 24 to 48 hours. 

Documentation required for preparing tax returns:

  • Social Security Cards
    Bring for taxpayer, spouse, and dependents (any listed on the tax return) 
  • Identification
    Valid photo identification
  • Passport
    For international students and scholars
  • Prior Year Tax Returns
    A copy of last year’s Federal and Iowa tax returns (required if filed the prior year)
  • Form W-2
    Wage and Tax Statement (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
  • Form 1095-A
    If purchased Health Insurance from the Marketplace 
  • Banking Information
    Account and routing numbers for checking or savings account for direct deposit or direct debt. 
  • List of Additional Income Information
    Income from disability, 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 tax returns for the following: 

  • Income is greater than $64,000
  • Sale of business property
  • Prior Year Tax Returns
  • Foreign Tax Credits
  • Military Complex Returns
  • Schedule C (if complex)
  • Rental Income
  • Farm Income
  • ITIN Returns
  • Married Filing Separate Returns (without spouses SSN) 

ONLY Federal and Iowa returns will be prepared. Both spouses must be present to sign the tax return for married filing joint returns. Only a limited number of returns will be prepared each night (on a first come first served basis). 

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.