Post University Students Provide Tax Help with VITA Program

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Tax season is in full swing and some filers are getting a little help this year. Post University students are giving back their time and knowledge they picked up while in the classroom.

This year is the first year accounting students from Post University will have the chance to pick up some real-world tax experience. The Internal Revenue Service's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance service offers free tax preparation service for individuals who made less than $57,000 in 2020. Post University is participating in the tax program for the first time this year.

"It's a great thing to be able to give back to the community especially with their taxes," said Tanner Carone, a senior accounting student at Post University. "There are many different areas of taxes that, especially in this program, we're just not able to learn in the classroom."

COVID-19 caused many VITA locations to close their doors and it also opened up the window for Post University students to put what they've learned in class to the test.

"They are learning taxation, communication and ethic skills and learning how to perform their duties properly," said Dr. Majo Jacinto, the Master of Science in Accounting Program Chair at the Malcolm Baldrige School of Business. "Those skills are important, but it's also equally important to learn about their service to the community."

Americans this year will have to navigate their taxes with the extra burden of accounting for the pandemic. Unemployment, working from home and stimulus checks are all things that may impact the way taxes will be filed this year.

Robert Shaw is switching career paths and believes the opportunity is vital for being prepared for future opportunities.

"We have a lot of training and a lot of education, but that doesn't translate directly into real-world experience," said Shaw. "This is a flexible way to get that without dedicating time specifically to a job."

The program is being offered in the region thanks to the partnership between the Connecticut Association of Human Services and The United Way of Greater Waterbury.

The tax returns are made electronically unless the IRS requires a manual return. If you qualify for the service, you can click here, or call 211 to connect with a VITA representative in Waterbury.

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