HPU Students Help Community Members File Taxes for Free

HIGH POINT, N.C., April 10, 2018 – High Point University students are helping members of the community file their taxes free of charge as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) for the sixth year in a row.

HPU students enrolled in a service learning course are equipped 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. During 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 Macedonia Family Resource Center and West End Community Center.

High Point University student Ryan Gilbert works with a community member to file her taxes as part of the VITA program.

“I choose to dedicate my time to VITA because I can see the program’s direct impact on the High Point community,” says Ryan Gilbert, HPU junior. “We help people save time and money that they can then spend on their families. The staff at VITA are a major highlight because they care about us as well as the community.”

Scott Davis, associate professor of accounting at HPU, oversees the students who participate. This year, one student, T’Keyah Johnson, stood out.

“One interesting and unique feature of this year’s student group is that T’Keyah is returning for her second year and she’s not an accounting major,” says Davis. “We’ve had second-year participants before, but they’re usually accounting majors looking to further gain experience.”

“I believe in giving back to the community, in whatever capacity my skill allows,” says Johnson. “Many have given to me over the years, making it possible for me to attend HPU. It is only fitting that I pay it forward and help a community that truly needs our help.”

Students will continue to help community members through the remainder of tax season. Media are invited to interview students about their experience with the program.

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