Business students offer income tax assistance

Evan Willey, Correspondent

Accounting students at Wilkes University’s Jay S. Sidhu School of Business and Leadership will offer free tax assistance to the public through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program.

The event will be offered 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Feb. 8, 15 and 22 on Wilkes campus in Breiseth Hall, room 105. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program offers free tax help to people with household income of less than $52,000 who file basic federal, state, and local tax returns.

“The students have an opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom,” said Dr. Cynthia Chisarick. “These students also gain confidence working in a professional setting. This entrepreneurial experience exposes them to a number of basic business concepts, including marketing, customer relations, ethics, tax preparation and computer software applications.”

Those who plan to attend should bring to the VITA site photo identification, valid social security cards for the taxpayer, spouse and dependents, W-2 form, interest and dividend statements from banks, a copy of last year’s federal and state returns, other relevant information about income and expenses, along with bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit to the VITA site.

“I originally started the program as a service to the community, to prepare tax returns for elderly and lower income individuals,” Chisarick said. “It is an opportunity for them to give back to the community and gain valuable professional experience.”

This program usually has 14 or 15 accounting students who volunteer. IRS sponsors this program who in order to be a volunteer you need to pass an exam to be become certified preparers.