You are here: Home / News Release Archives / 2013 / February / Accounting Students Prepare Tax Returns for Local Families

Accounting Students Prepare Tax Returns for Local Families

Accounting students in the Penn State Smeal College of Business contribute their time and expertise as greeters and tax preparers for the Penn State Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, a nationwide, IRS-sponsored program that provides free tax preparation to low income, special needs, and senior citizen taxpayers.
February 5, 2013

Accounting students in the Penn State Smeal College of Business begin work today as greeters and tax preparers for the Penn State Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

VITA is a nationwide, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sponsored program that provides free tax preparation to low income, special needs, and senior citizen taxpayers. Each year many students at Penn State volunteer their time to assist in tax preparation for members of the local community. This year, 38 of the 52 volunteers are Smeal accounting students.

The VITA program at Penn State is led by Cathy Bowen, professor of consumer issues in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education, and is a joint venture among the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, the Smeal College of Business, and the Dickinson School of Law. Each college has a student liaison to assist Bowen in recruiting and managing the volunteers.

Sarah Mackey is a junior in the integrated master of accounting program in Smeal, and she is serving as the 2013 liaison for accounting students. “I wanted to be involved in something hands-on,” she said. “This is one way to get some hands-on experience even before you have an internship.”

VITA volunteers begin meeting in the fall to learn the relevant federal tax laws and the TaxWise software used to file electronic returns. All volunteers—including greeters—must pass an ethics course; those who wish to prepare taxes must also pass both basic and intermediate-level certification tests.

The VITA program is a popular way for students in business and law each year to get some hands on practice with taxes as well as a service activity: “The repetition of doing the tax returns really helps gel classroom tax lessons in their minds,” said Bowen.

In addition to IRS support, PwC and KPMG offered financial support to this year’s program that is crucial to the program’s survival.

Recent News
Smeal Again Ranks No. 1 for Graduate Supply Chain Education 19 Sep

The Penn State Smeal College of Business once again ranks No. 1 in graduate supply chain education according to a report from IT research and advisory firm Gartner, which also ranked the college best for undergraduate supply chain education in August.

Ding Co-Authors Book on Modern China 18 Sep

The Chinese Way, a newly released book from Penn State Smeal College of Business Professor of Marketing and Innovation Min Ding and Jie Xu of Fudan University, explores modern-day Chinese culture from multiple angles, providing a deeper understanding of a complex society that is critically important to business in a globalized world.

Nicholson Helps Dairy Farmers Mitigate Financial Risks 17 Sep

Charles Nicholson, clinical associate professor of supply chain management at the Penn State Smeal College of Business, is contributing to the introduction of the Margin Protection Program for Dairy Producers (MPP), a government-sponsored insurance initiative to help the nation’s dairy farmers mitigate their financial risks.

Client Projects Sought for Penn State Smeal MBA Program's Applied Professional Experience 17 Sep

The Penn State Smeal College of Business is currently seeking projects for the spring 2015 Applied Professional Experience (APEX) Program. APEX, the capstone component of Smeal’s internationally ranked MBA program, runs from early January through April and consists of student teams collaborating with client firms to take on real-world business challenges.

Crocker Named Department Chair in Risk Management 16 Sep

Keith Crocker, the William Elliott Chaired Professor of Insurance and Risk Management, has been named chair of the Department of Risk Management in the Penn State Smeal College of Business.

More Recent News... More Recent News...