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's Multimedia Team Recognized for Providing Valuable Student Service 24 Jul

A group of Smeal College of Business staff members were recently recognized for their efforts to provide students with professional portraits for their LinkedIn profiles. The Penn State Information Technology Resource Responsibility award was granted to the Resource, Instruction, and Information Technology (RIIT) Group’s Multimedia Team.

Company Looks to Penn State Smeal for Next Generation Supply Chain Talent 23 Jul

The Penn State Smeal College of Business is one of only two schools from which Burlington Stores, a national off-price retailer headquartered in New Jersey, actively recruits for its Supply Chain Leader Development Program. This leadership program for supply chain graduates is an 18-month program that introduces new graduates to the various roles and responsibilities of leadership at the company.

Management and Organization's Gioia Reflects on GM Crisis 11 Jul

When GM began recalling vehicles in February because of an ignition-switch problem, the situation brought back early career memories for Denny Gioia. Currently, the Robert and Judith Klein Professor of Management and chair of the Department of Management and Organization at the Penn State Smeal College of Business, Gioia once worked as recall coordinator for Ford Motor Company.

Inaugural Executive MBA Leadership Forum Addresses Issues in Health Care 09 Jul

Early last month, the Penn State Smeal Executive MBA Program hosted its inaugural Senior Leadership Forum, an opportunity for current and prospective students as well as program alumni to come together to discuss business and leadership.

Ghadar's Recent Book on Immigration's Benefits Garners Media Attention 08 Jul

Becoming American: Why Immigration is Good for Our Nation’s Future, authored by Penn State Smeal College of Business’ William A. Schreyer Professor of Global Management, Policies, and Planning Fariborz Ghadar, has garnered much media attention since its release in March of this year.

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