Tyler Skidmore, a sophomore at Carroll College, has already completed his tax forms and is expecting a return.
"I'm so excited to get my return because I qualified for the educational tax credit," the political science and economics major said. "This semester I have to pay for college so it was a much needed break."
Many students qualify for such educational tax credits and an event was held Saturday morning at five locations across the state to raise awareness. Skidmore expects to receive a $1,000 credit.
"It's fantastic," Skidmore, who intends to eventually attend law school, said.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) for Education Day is a statewide collaborative between Montana GEAR UP, Montana's Credit Unions, CAP of NW Montana, United Way of Yellowstone County, HRDC IV and Senior Corps. Events were held in five cities across the state and Sen. Jon Tester stopped in at the Helena site to help bring awareness and hoping to open up opportunities for students and their families.
(L-R) Senator Jon Tester visits Saturday morning with Carroll College student Tyler Skidmore, Karen Smith, executive director of MCUCD, and Jan Lombardi,
director of Montana GEAR UP about education tax credits at the
VITA for Education event at Trico Community Credit Union.
"The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program brings talented folks together to help put our next generation on the path towards higher education," Tester said. "Their outstanding work is helping Montana families take the first step toward getting their sons and daughters federal assistance for college."
Completing tax forms is an essential step for determining financial aid eligibility for grants, scholarships and loans to pay for college. The VITA program provides a strong network of providers and IRS-certified volunteers to help Montanans not only complete taxes, but share tips on how to prepare, save and pay for college. It ultimately presents the option of postsecondary education for every student.
According to Wendi Castle with the Internal Revenue Service in Helena there are several tax deductions and tax credits for students. She suggests that individuals and families go through their tax returns and use the one that is best. VITA sites provide tax preparation free of charge for those who make less than $51,000 annually. For more information visit the VITA for Education tab on www.montanafreefile.org.