UHD’s VITA Program Offering Free Virtual Tax Preparation Services
By Mark Kramer
Tax preparation services are as easy as following your fingertips.
Free virtual tax assistance provided by the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance / Tax Counseling for the Elderly (VITA/TCE) program will be offered by the Marilyn Davies College of Business to U.S. Taxpayers in the Houston, National, and International communities, beginning February 12 through April 15, 2021.
The program assists senior citizens, students worldwide, limited English-speaking taxpayers, as well as non-senior citizens earning $66,000 or less, for whom tax returns are prepared by volunteers. Further, the program provides free tax counseling, and assists taxpayers, free of charge, in preparing their own tax returns.
In March 2020, UHD VITA/TCE transitioned to providing virtual services to taxpayers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, preparing more than 700 tax returns for families locally and statewide, as well as international students.
“UHD Virtual VITA recouped millions in tax and stimulus dollars for these families by preparing the tax returns for these qualifying individuals free of charge,” said Dr. Cynthia Lloyd, UHD Assistant Professor of Accounting and Director of UHD’s VITA Program.
Lloyd noted that the number of senior citizens participating in the program increased last year because tax services at UHD were offered virtually.
“When other programs completely shut down, our program stepped in to provide the needed services online,” she said.
The Marilyn Davies College of Business became an independent on-campus VITA site in 2018, known as UHD VITA. In the past, students from the College worked at other local organizations, such as Neighborhood Centers, Inc., to assist people who needed help in preparing their own tax returns.
2021 Tax Season Virtual VITA Service Hours
10 a.m.-4 p.m. – Thursday and Friday
10 a.m.-2 p.m. – Saturday
To schedule a virtual appointment, visit the UHD VITA website or call 713-221-5015.
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD)—the second-largest university in Houston—has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974.
As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates more than 15,000 students; boasts more than 60,000 alumni and offers 45 bachelor’s, nine master’s degree programs and 16 fully online programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service; Sciences & Technology; and University College).
For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranks UHD among universities across the nation for Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (No. 27 and No. 15 for Veterans) and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.
UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston and one of the lowest in Texas. U.S. News ranked the University among Top Performers on Social Mobility and a No. 1 ranking as the most diverse institution of higher education in the southern region of the U.S. The University is noted nationally as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution and Military Friendly School. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.