"Back in 1969, the congress mandated to the Internal Revenue service that they assist the general public with tax filing, due to the complexity of the tax code. So out of that came the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program," said IRS Spokesman Bill Brunson.
The VITA program is almost entirely run by volunteers, and sites are usually located at community and neighborhood centers, such as libraries and schools.
At Utah State University, the Beta Alpha Psi honor society will spend their Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings from Feb. 4 to April 1 helping the public with their taxes. Just like other volunteers around the state, they've spent weeks preparing, learning, and testing to be able to file taxes.
Beta Alpha Psi Faculty Advisor Bonnie Villarreal said the students receive training, just as all VITA volunteers would.
"The IRS provides training materials to us, and tests that have to be passed for someone to work in the VITA clinic. They have to get an 80 percent, and they only get two tries at it," Villarreal said. "Every volunteer gets trained in the standards of conduct that the IRS expects, and there are different levels and topics of tax law they can be trained in depending on what they want to be able to do."
USU President Stan Albrecht spoke at the infrastructure and general government appropriations subcommittee on Feb. 3. Albrecht laid down a roadmap for two new building projects at USU extension campuses.
The first is for a 50,000 square foot academic building at USU’s Brigham City campus. Albrecht says the cost of the facility is about $15 million, and he is asking the Legislature for $7 million in new funds to go toward the project.
U. S. House Republican Leaders recently outlined principles they believe should be followed in any overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws. This has raised hopes that immigration reform might move forward in Congress. What you think: Path to citizenship? Increased border security? What’s needed most? Or should this issue not be a priority? Do you have a personal experience or concern regarding immigration? We’ll be talking to members of the group: Bibles Badges and Business for Immigration Reform, Pastor of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church Steve Klemz and Immigration Attorney Timothy Wheelwright.
Two Utah lawmakers generated outrage on Monday after jokingly commenting about changing genders on Twitter. Monday morning State Rep. Jacob Anderegg posted to the social media site said he was "strongly considering a gender identifying change" so that he could use the women’s restroom because the men’s was occupied.
"Switching your gender identity? Just can’t keep up with you. You’re a new man! Erm…woman," said State Sen. Wayne Neiderhauser via Twitter in response to Anderegg's comment.
Utah County Deputy Greg Sherwood remains in the hospital after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds to the head Thursday. However, authorities are optimistic about his condition as Sherwood was updated from critical to serious condition early this week.
"He’s showing signs of improvement," said Utah County Sherriff’s Office spokesman Sergeant Spencer Cannon. "We’re cautiously optimistic that he will continue to improve and eventually be able to be released and hopefully return to full active service with the sheriff’s office."
Desert tortoises can live as long as a human, and are listed as a threatened species. But now, through a state program, the large reptiles can be adopted.
Krissy Wilson, with the Division of Wildlife Resources, said the reptiles cannot be reintroduced into the wild because of health concerns, and may be unable to fend for themselves after living in captivity, but the long-living tortoises make good pets.
"There have been tortoises that when you go out in your yard they will come to you. I've had tortoises that come along and they like to sit on your feet when you're outside. So they become very used to you. They can become very social animals,” Wilson said.
This is an encore presentation of Access Utah, originally broadcast in May 2013.
In his book, "Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation," Michael Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Here, he discovers the power of the four classical elements—fire, water, air, and earth—to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. "Cooked" becomes an investigation of how cooking involves us in a web of social and ecological relationships: with plants and animals, the soil, farmers, our history and culture, and, of course, the people our cooking nourishes.
Hi, this is Blair Larsen, host of Fresh Folk. On the show this week, I feature the new ultimate collection of Paul Simon songs, and the new album from the Seattle-based guitarist and songwriter Paul Benoit. I’ll also play tracks from new disks by Casey Weston, The Deep Dark Woods, and the Inside Llewyn Davis Soundtrack, among other talented artists. Tune in and listen this Saturday at 8pm to Fresh Folk on Utah Public Radio.
The price of electricity for some St. George residents is set to increase starting Feb. 1. The St. George City Council approved a 7 percent across-the-board rate increase on Thursday.
Phillip Solomon is the city’s energy services director. He says PacifiCorp unexpectedly raised the cost of transporting the power by 46 percent in September. Higher scheduling rates and a boost to the cost of electricity also prompted the decision, which occurred in the middle of the city’s fiscal year.