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Penn College Student Coordinating Local Tax-Assistance Program

Kicking off this season%E2%80%99s free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program at Pennsylvania College of Technology are, from left, Pam Hicks, program director for The Salvation Army%3B Phillip D. Landers, professor of business administration%2Fmanagement%3B Kylie N. Waslosky, a Penn College accounting student serving an internship as the program%E2%80%99s administrative coordinator%3B Cadet Craig Shoff, corps ministry and program assistant%3B and tax preparer Lynette Trick, Salvation Army budget coach and VITA site coordinator.The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance campaign, in which Pennsylvania College of Technology students partner with The Salvation Army and Internal Revenue Service, is helping hundreds of eligible area residents prepare and file their returns this season.

Free assistance to low- and moderate-income taxpayers will be offered in Room 102 of Penn College’s Madigan Library from 4 to 6 p.m., Monday to Thursday, through April 7. The service also is available at The Salvation Army’s 457 Market St. site in downtown Williamsport; at the Muncy Public Library, 108 S. Main St.; and at the Lock Haven Salvation Army, 114 N. Grove St.

All of the locations are overseen by Kylie N. Waslosky, a Penn College accounting student from Houtzdale, who is serving an internship as the collaboration’s administrative coordinator. Among her responsibilities are recruitment of volunteers including accounting, finance and legal assistant majors from the college’s School of Business and Computer Technologies and training them with TaxWise software.

She also serves as a preparer, e-filing returns and making sure other tasks run smoothly.

“Last year was my first year volunteering with VITA, and I quickly learned that taxes are what I’m really interested in,” Waslosky said. “I became interested in the coordination of the program, and learned many of the tasks such as e-filing by watching other coordinators. By the end of the tax season, I felt that I learned a great deal of information just by volunteering (and) decided that I wanted to be a site coordinator at the college for this tax year.”

In December, she learned from Phillip D. Landers, professor of business administration/management, that The Salvation Army had received a grant that allowed for expanded services and additional marketing of the tax-assistance program.

“Accepting an intern was among those things, as well, so I took the offer and began my work quickly,” Waslosky said. “I have really enjoyed working with The Salvation Army and it allows me to continue working with the college. I think that this opportunity has given me a lot of skills that I will be able to use as a professional after I graduate this May.”

Appointments at the Lycoming County and Lock Haven locations can be reserved by calling The Salvation Army at 570-326-9187. Campus taxpayer services are unavailable when Penn College is closed or when students are on Spring Break (the week of March 7).

Service also will be provided at the North Campus near Wellsboro from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, March 25; Northern Tier residents should call 570-724-7703 to set up their one-hour appointments at the Tioga County site.

Penn College students completed more than 700 federal and state returns during the 2009 season, amounting to $418,494 in refunds. Countywide, including The Salvation Army and Muncy Library sites, VITA volunteers prepared 1,535 state and federal tax returns that resulted in total refunds of $772,855.

The college and its immediate predecessor, Williamsport Area Community College, have provided free tax assistance for decades; Penn College has partnered with The Salvation Army since 2006.

The program is designed for taxpayers who have relatively simple returns and less than $50,000 in annual income, who do not own businesses or have stock sales to report, and who are not in a complicated retirement situation. Special emphasis is placed on the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax and Child and Dependent Care credits, and property tax/rent rebates.

Taxpayers should bring proof of identification, Social Security cards, spousal and dependents’ birth dates, bank-routing information for direct deposit of refunds, paperwork in support of deductions, 2009 tax returns, real-estate tax receipts, unemployment-compensation data, and key documents such as W-2 and 1099 forms.

For more about accounting and other majors offered within the School of Business and Computer Technologies, visit on the Web or call 570-327-4517. For more information about Penn College, visit online , e-mail or call toll-free 800-367-9222.