Accounting Students Provide Free Income Tax Assistance

Friday, February 03, 2012

Fairmont State University Accounting students are providing free income tax preparation assistance in five counties and receiving real-life experience to benefit them in their future careers.

Through April 10, Accounting students are offering IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) tax preparation services in Fairmont, Clarksburg, Buckhannon, Parsons and Mannington. The VITA program, which is supervised by Dr. T. Jean Engebretson, provides free basic tax return preparation for eligible taxpayers. VITA provides students with hands-on learning about income tax preparation and real experience working with tax clients.

“The VITA program is the single, most productive community outreach service of the Fairmont State University School of Business. The students work tirelessly and produce great results in a short time period. Their level of expertise and professionalism is routinely praised by the participants. The goodwill generated for the School of Business is immeasurable,” said Dr. Richard Harvey, Dean of the School of Business.

Last year, students in the Fairmont State VITA program worked more than 935 hours preparing 1,072 federal and state tax returns. Harvey said the figure is the second highest number of returns for a college VITA program in the Richmond, Va., region, which covers Virginia and West Virginia. FSU had the highest accuracy level by far among all the colleges in the region.

Student volunteers have a responsibility to provide high quality service and uphold the highest of ethical standards. The student volunteers receive training and certification from the IRS to help prepare basic tax returns in North Central West Virginia communities. Many taxpayers return each year and refer their friends and neighbors to the FSU VITA program.

The Fairmont State VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries and other convenient and public locations. The service includes free electronic filing. To view the complete 2012 VITA schedule of dates and locations, visit http://www.fairmontstate.edu/schoolofbusiness/node/84/view.