Reporters may contact: Meredith Dickenson
SMU News and Information
(214) 768-7654

March 9, 2001


DALLAS (SMU) -- Students from Southern Methodist University's Dedman School of Law are providing free tax assistance to low-income families in Dallas.

Thirty-four law students, as part of their public service graduation requirement, are volunteering with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service.

VITA works with people who are elderly, low-income and non-English speaking. The service helps those individuals who are unable to file their returns and secure funds to which they are entitled.

People seeking help need to bring tax forms W-2 and 1099, as well as Social Security cards for everyone mentioned on the return, and any other pertinent tax information including property tax statements and mortgage receipts.

"This program is great for people who have no knowledge about tax returns," said SMU law student and VITA volunteer Jacob Smith. "The volunteers are helpful, friendly and everyone benefits from the program."

People wishing assistance through VITA may visit one of the sites where SMU Dedman School of Law volunteers are available through April 15. Public transportation is available to the following locations: North Oak Cliff Library, Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Lakewood Branch Library, Saturdays from 2 to 5 p.m.; Pleasant Grove Library, Saturdays from 1 to 3 p.m.; Dallas West Library, Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Skillman Southwestern Library, Mondays from noon to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays noon to 6 p.m.

For more information about the VITA program, call 1-800-829-1040.