Students File Taxes for Community Members for Free

HIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 19, 2016 – High Point University students are participating in the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program and helping members of the community file their taxes free of charge for the fourth year in a row.

HPU student Kristine Faxlanger helps a community member file their taxes for free.

HPU student Kristine Faxlanger helps a community member file their taxes for free.

HPU students are enrolled in a service learning course that equips them with the skills needed to participate in VITA, a program that provides free assistance with tax return preparation to low to moderate income community members. Throughout the course, students learn the technical skills of tax return preparation and soft skills like preparer ethics, then put them to use with VITA. Students are taking their expertise to locations around the community such as the Community and Neighborhood Development Center and the West End Community Center.

After this tax season is complete, 52 HPU students will have participated in the VITA program and will have worked approximately 1,346 hours and prepared 911 state and federal tax returns since 2012.

“The VITA program is very important because it allows those that don’t have the ability to pay for someone to file their taxes the chance to still get help from people who have tax knowledge,” said Kristine Faxlanger, HPU junior. “Participating in this program has opened my eyes to the world of tax preparation and given me hands on experience that will benefit me for years to come.”

“The world of tax is very broad and by volunteering through VITA, we take away the stress of our clients by making them feel more confident and comfortable when it comes to filing their taxes,” said Kayla Griffith, HPU junior. “It touches my heart when these people look at me and say, ‘Thank you for providing this free service to me.’ This experience will benefit me and will stay with me through my journey in the accounting field.”

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