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Accounting Students Provide Volunteer Tax Help

RALEIGH, N.C.  (March 28, 2024) – Tax season is in full swing, and Wake Tech accounting students have been hard at work assisting eligible classmates with their tax preparation free of charge.

For the second year, Wake Tech's chapter of the National Accounting and Black Accountants (NABA) and the Accounting Club are hosting the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, sponsored by Wake Tech Student Activities. VITA is a program for low- to moderate-income individuals that can be utilized by students and staff of the college.

Seven Accounting students have spent the past eight weeks serving as volunteer tax preparers at the VITA site on Scott Northern Wake Campus. They completed 80 hours of IRS-certified courses as training to assist their classmates with tax preparation. The services are available for students and employees who earn $60,000 or less, people with disabilities, the elderly and individuals with limited English speaking abilities who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns.

Accounting Instructor Shamber Gentry said the services are a win-win for the student preparers as well as the student clients. So far, the program has provided tax preparation services for more than 50 students.

"This program helps Accounting and Business Administration students get real-life experience in different aspects of accounting and tax preparation, such as communication, confidentiality and privacy, as well as the technical experience of completing the tax services," Gentry said. "A lot of the students we are serving cannot afford to go somewhere and pay lots of money for the tax prep services. This is free of charge, so we are providing a service and a community service at the same time."

John Grasso, a Business Administration student and Accounting Club member, said he was excited about volunteering as a tax preparer.

"I thought it was cool and something good I can put on my resume," Grasso said. "Meanwhile, the student clients benefit from greater communication and understanding about the tax filing process. Instead of using an online service like Turbo Tax, they can work face-to-face with a volunteer preparer. They are also able to give input and ask questions about their own returns, so, hopefully, they learn something, too."

When Accounting student Jonathan Gonzalez learned about the free services from an email, he said he jumped at the opportunity.

"This is great that Wake Tech offers this. Now, I have peace of mind about my tax returns after coming here," Gonzalez said. "One of my classmates was my tax preparer, and he helped me so much today. He has knowledge, and I can trust him. He took his time and was patient with me, so I'm leaving here feeling really good."

The student tax preparers will also be on site April 11-13 to serve eligible students who still need to complete and file their returns by the April 15 deadline. The service is also available to eligible faculty and staff.

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April 2024

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