Accounting students complete 300+ tax returns through volunteer program
Eleven accounting students prepared more than 300 tax returns this semester through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which offers free help to people who earn $55,000 or less, persons with disabilities and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their tax returns.
Students who volunteered with the program were Michaela Carrera, Ashley Cody, Johnna Colletti, Joshua Cyr, Amanda Doscher, Amanda Fantasia, Ailish Kelleher, Junda Qian, Michael Tuttle, Kyle Wisnewski and Amber Woodard.
Working at the McKillop Library, public libraries and senior centers, the students completed more than 50 percent of the returns in Newport County submitted through the VITA program. They completed Individual 1040 returns along with state returns for Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Virginia.
The students also visited an elder care home in Middletown, where they completed 30 returns for the residents. Each resident received $365 from Rhode Island for the housing credit, approximately $11,000 in total.
Their effort began in fall 2018 while they were enrolled in Paul McKillop’s course Federal Income Taxes I. In order to volunteer with the VITA program, students had to pass three certification tests: AARP Ethics, AARP Interview and AARP – VITA Advanced Certifications.
“Students completed 327 tax returns, which – if a conservative cost per return is applied – resulted in a return to the community of $65,400,” McKillop said. “The students had a fantastic rapport with the many and varied taxpayers, making them feel at ease while completing their work in an efficient and timely manner.”
Two of the volunteers – Tuttle and Woodard – also received commendations and written recommendations at the AARP’s post-tax season celebratory dinner.