Profitt Report: Free tax services in Midland

Everyone needs to file their 2016 taxes but how you do it is up to you. Tax-preparing services can be pricey, so for those that can’t afford professional assistance, an organization in Lansing is trying to help.

“I’m one of those weird people who thinks taxes are interesting and fun,” said Ashleigh Kline, a third year Michigan State University law student, “it's like a big puzzle trying to figure out how much money I can get at the end of the year, if any in a refund.”

Kline is one of the eight students offering their services for free at an upcoming tax prep clinic in Midland.

“We have the low income tax payer clinic here at the law school and we have second and third year law students who come in, they take a course with myself and the director and we teach them pretty much everything they need to know about taxes,” said Christina Thompson, a supervising attorney at the clinic.

While law students will work with people on their taxes, Thompson and the MSU Tax Clinic Director Joshua Wease will oversee their progress.

The clinic will be held March 5-8 at the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library, 1710 West St. Andrews Road in Midland.

“It can pull in from around the area and there wasn't a lot of free prep sites in those areas so we wanted to go there and make sure they're being served,” Thompson said.

That way, low-income taxpayers receive help and students such as Kline get some real-life experience.

“It’s almost learning bedside manner for lawyers kind of thing, they have to be able to know how to interact with a client,” Wease said.

Make sure to bring your W2’s, 1095 and 1099 forms, along with your dependents’ information, such as their social security numbers and their income documents.

If you want to maximize your return, Kline said to bring any medical bills, proof of your home mortgage interest, etc.

“If you're a parent, childcare expenses, I mean there's a lot, really bring more documents than you may think you need just in case,” she said.

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Information from the MSU Tax Clinic:

Volunteers from Michigan State University College of Law will be in Midland from Sunday, March 5 to Wednesday, March 8 to offer free tax preparation services and assistance for issues with past tax years to all who are interested. The services will be offered at the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library on March 5 from 1-5 pm, and March 6-8 from 12-6 pm. All interested are asked to make an appointment by calling the MSU Tax Clinic at 517-336-8088, extension 0. Walk-ins are also welcome.

About MSU College of Law Free Tax Preparation Services: Michigan State University College of Law Tax Clinic student volunteers and supervising attorneys have offered free tax preparation and tax assistance services to individuals and families residing in low-income communities for 10 years.

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