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Students from Purdue University Northwest tax and accounting classes are offering free federal and state income tax preparation assistance to taxpayers/families with incomes of $54,000 or less, individuals with disabilities and elderly residents.

Students at the Westville Campus are participating in the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. With support from the LaPorte County United Way, the program has expanded to accommodate more clients.

Hammond Campus students are assisting efforts of the American Association of Retired Persons by providing tax help at several Lake County communities.

Due to recent IRS changes, tax returns for 2016 can be prepared for taxpayers who are required to file an Indiana return, but not a federal tax return.

Appointments are required.

The service will be offered on PNW’s Westville Campus in the Technology Building, Room 109. Appointments are available from 9:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays from Feb. 18 through March 25, except March 18. To make an appointment call the LaPorte County United Way call center at 1-877-502-0700. This is the 28th year PNW Westville students are providing tax assistance.

Hammond Campus students will provide tax assistance by appointment using listed phone numbers at the following sites:

• Calumet Township Municipal Center, 1800 W. 41st St., Gary. (219-880-4900).

• Crown Point Public Library, 122 N. Main St., Crown Point. (Appointments must be made in advance in person on school days at the library.)

• Lowell Public Library, 1505 E. Commercial Ave., Lowell. (219-696-7704).

• Merrillville Municipal Center, 7820 Broadway, Merrillville. (219-769-3501).

• Schererville Town Hall, 10 E. Joliet St., Schererville. (219-322-2211).

• Salvation Army, 8225 Columbia Ave., Munster. (219-838-0380).

Student tax preparers serve under the guidance of Edward Furticella, head of the PNW Department of Quantitative Business Studies, and Thomas Holets, continuing lecturer of accounting and coordinator of the PNW Westville program.

The student volunteers are prepared to complete the following tax forms: Form 1040 with Schedules A, B, EIC, D, & R; Form 2441 (child and dependent care credit); Form 8863 (educational credits); Form 8812 (child and additional child tax credit); and Affordable Care Act.

Taxpayers who seek this assistance are expected to participate in the IRS e-file program.

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