Free tax assistance for those earning less than $53,000

The George W. Daverio School of Accountancy is offering its Volunteer Income-Tax Assistance Program (VITA) Program for members of the greater Akron community who would like assistance preparing their own tax returns.

The program is free to all members of the public who earn $53,000 or less. Persons who do not satisfy all eligibility requirements cannot be helped through this program.

The school strongly encourages people eligible for the earned income credit and full time students to participate.

According to the IRS, “the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a tax credit for certain people who work and don't earn high incomes. A tax credit usually means more money in your pocket; the EITC can reduce the amount of tax you owe and you may also get a refund.” Most families with children who earn less than $53,000 may qualify for EITC. Thresholds for couples without children and for single individuals are lower. Self-employed tax payers and members of the military are also accommodated as long as the income requirements are met.

How it works

A team of IRS-certified volunteers prepare the tax returns and a program coordinator reviews each tax return.

The program coordinators are Melanie McCoskey, Ph.D., CPA and Andrew Bernat JD/MTax, CPA.

Volunteers include MS Accounting, MTax, and BS Accounting students in the George W. Daverio School of Accountancy.

A Faculty Advisory Council, comprising Julianne Buynak JD/MTax, CPA, Doron Narotzki JD, LLM, SJD and Al Lieberman JD, MBA CPA provide feedback and advice for the effective operation of the VITA program.

This year we are also teaming up with AARP to offer the VITA/TCE program on Wednesdays (1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.) and Thursdays (1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.). The coordinator for the AARP time slot is James Oziomek (j.oziomek@sbcglobal.net), an AARP volunteer. All volunteers for that site satisfy at least our baseline qualification for participation in this IRS-sponsored service.


The location of our main VITA program is the College of Business Administration Building, Room 106.

Professor Melanie McCoskey is also offering the VITA service at Open M (941 Princeton St., Akron OH 44311) until February 23. The site is available for service on Mondays (4 – 8 p.m.), Wednesdays (4 – 8 p.m.), and Thursdays (4 – 8 p.m.). This site accepts only walk-ins. No appointment is needed for this site.

Our AARP partnership site is located in Polsky Hall, Room 550N.


VITA services are offered from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays during the tax season, beginning January 31 and ending April 11. There will be VITA service available on Saturday, March 21 or Saturday, March 28 due to spring break.

Our AARP partnership site starts on February 11 and ends April 15. That site is open only on Wednesdays (1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.) and Thursdays (1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.).

Note that our Open M site is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Again, no appointment is needed for that site.

To make an appointment

VITA services are available by appointment and to walk-ins. Priority will be given to persons with appointments. To make an appointment, visit the VITA registration page.

To assure effective service, the last appointment for all dates will be taken at 4 p.m.

What to bring

Please bring the following items to the VITA site to have your tax returns prepared:

  • Proof of identification (Picture ID)
  • Social Security Cards for you, your spouse and dependents and/or a Social Security Number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration
  • Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return
  • If you acquired health insurance via the Marketplace, Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement.
  • Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, from all employers
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
  • Any other tax documents needed to accurately complete your return
  • A copy of last year’s Federal and State returns if available
  • Bank Routing Numbers and Account Numbers for Direct Deposit
  • Total paid for day care provider and the day care provider's tax identifying number (the provider's Social Security Number or the provider's business Employer Identification Number)

To file taxes electronically on a married filing joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.

If you do not have a Social Security Number, an ITIN. If you do not have an ITIN, please bring your SSA denial letter (if applicable) and a current form of photo identification.

For more information

Please call 330 972-7586 for further information. Unfortunately, we cannot take appointments at that number.


To make an appointment, visit the VITA registration page.