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UNLV law students offer free tax preparation

Law students at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas are offering free tax preparation for people earning incomes of $50,000 or less.

It is the Boyd Financial Law Society’s second year participating in the Internal Revenue Service-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. All student volunteers are trained at the most advanced level possible under the program. They can prepare tax returns for military personnel and people with international incomes.

People are asked to bring their returns, a photo ID and Social Security cards for themselves and any dependents they plan on claiming.

Help is scheduled at the following locations, and no appointment is necessary.

—From 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. March 9 and 16 and April 6 and 13 at the Cambridge Recreation Center, 3930 Cambridge St.

—From 2 to 6 p.m. today and March 5 at the Whitney Recreation Center, 5712 E. Missouri Ave.

—From 3 to 7 p.m. March 7 and 14 and April 4 at the Robert E. “Bob” Price Recreation Center, 2050 Bonnie Lane.

—From noon to 4 p.m. April 6 and 13 at the Desert Breeze Recreation Center, 8275 Spring Mountain Road.

Law student Rajan Dhungana is running the program and helped train 41 students. Last year, Dhungana and 39 students prepared hundreds of tax returns at the Cambridge and Whitney recreation centers.

“It really helps the community,” Dhungana said. “… Lower-income people don’t get the best services.

“It’s a win-win for everybody involved. The community gets its taxes done for free and students get practical experience.”

A new component of this year’s program is the addition of high school students, including those from West Career and Technical Academy, 11945 W. Charleston Blvd.

Kelli Compton, a business teacher at the school, has 20 of her junior accounting students preparing returns twice a week during class. Dhungana has spent time training those students but at a lower level than the college students.

“These kids also run the student store,” Compton said. “They have a pretty good small-business accounting knowledge. I thought, ‘Why not teach them something different?’ It’s an employability skill.”

Compton and her students schedule two appointments per class period, but they are not taking any more at this time. Compton said she hopes to continue the program next year and would like to see it spread to more high schools.

For more information, visit financiallawsociety.org.

Contact View education reporter Jeff Mosier at jmosier@viewnews.com or 702-224-5524.

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