CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Students and faculty from the College of Business at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi volunteer their time each year to help prepare taxes for free for qualifying families. About 60 students have already logged more than 1,000 hours this year as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), an IRS-sponsored program coordinated locally by the United Way of the Coastal Bend. The College of Business plays an instrumental role in contributing to the VITA program – starting from providing a training site for the VITA volunteers to ensuring student participation.
“Volunteering for VITA is a very fulfilling experience for me. As a CPA, I have prepared numerous tax returns, but never have I felt so rewarded,” said Dr. Arpita Shroff, Assistant Professor of Accounting and volunteer coordinator. “Our accounting students receive engaging and hands-on experience in applying the federal tax laws to each unique situation.”
As part of VITA, students receive training for a day and a half and take a certification exam. TAMU-CC hosts two training sessions each year for prospective VITA volunteers. Once qualified, students are scheduled for sessions that involve interviewing with tax filers and preparing returns based on the information provided. There is no cost to the tax filer for this service.
“The VITA program has helped me understand the inner workings of the business from a tax perspective, which will be helpful in any industry,” said Cameron Vander Zanden, an accounting major. “I can relate to these families as I grew up in a similar community. I am now in the position to give back and use what I have learned.”
Most families who earn less than $57,000 a year, military families, taxpayers 60 years of age and older and persons with disabilities are eligible for the VITA program. Tax returns are prepared between Jan. 20 and April 15.
If you qualify, click here to see where and when you can get your taxes done