Students Help Community with Tax Returns

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

This time of year is a busy one for accountants around the country, and students in Mike Ervin’s accounting class are no exception.  Eight West Virginia Wesleyan College students have been participating in the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program this semester, helping local community members complete their income tax returns.

The VITA Program is an IRS program designed to help low and moderate-income taxpayers complete their annual tax returns at no cost.  The program was founded in 1971 at California State University Northridge by Gary Iskowitz.  The concept was to provide local taxpayers with free tax return preparation by accounting students, in effort to provide both a valuable community service and a powerful hands-on learning experience for the accounting students.

Ervin’s students received training from the IRS to help prepare the basic returns and have been assisting community members who make $50,000 or less or are eligible for Earned Income Tax Credits or other low income tax benefits all semester.

This year, these students have completed 75 returns, bringing $129,688 back to the Upshur County community in the form of returns.

Cutline:  Students Amber Cline, Nick Cutright, and Joe Moran assist community member Richard Tinney with his income tax return.