Tax season has made its big debut. While this may be old news for students that have been through tax season before, for others it comes as a whole new beginning into the world of adulthood.
“We work with the VITA Program,” Ernest Ahweza, finance and accounting major, said. “Or more formally known as the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.” For many, this program provides an excellent benefit. “I am able to provide a service to my friends and family for free,” Ray Britton, business administration major, said. “Especially when in most cases these services are overcharged by big name firms.”
The standard procedure begins with a one-on-one interview between the taxpayer and a student from the income tax class. The student then gathers the taxpayer’s information and makes copies of the tax form. “We do this as fast and efficiently as we can, so that we don’t keep the taxpayer waiting long,” Britton said.
Student should bring their I.D.s, their W-2s, 1099-Rs, 1099-INTs, a copy of last year’s tax return and if possible their routing and accounting numbers for direct depositing. “For most college students, they will only have one or two W-2s,” Britton said. “Depending on how many jobs they have.” It shouldn’t take any longer than a half hour. Once all of the information is gathered it is placed in the tax software system.
Ann Servey, a certified public accountant and accounting professor, teaches the accounting 341 classes. The course is simply called Income Taxes and it provides not just students, but faculty and parents as well with the opportunity of this free tax service. “I love it,” Ahweza said. “I’ve learned a lot, and it will definitely help me in the real world.”
The class provides the students with real hands-on and valuable field experience. “It allows us to further our understanding of the tax laws,” Britton said. “It offers the service for free, to help anyone who wants to take advantage of the program.”
“You don’t have to spend a penny,” Ahweza said. It’s a good first-time stepping-stone for those just entering into the tax world.