The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

VITA starts SE sessions

By Courtney Horton/reporter

Several SE students have been given the opportunity to put their class lessons to practical use and help others in exchange by working with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

From Jan. 20 to April 15, the students will prepare tax returns for low-income families at no charge through VITA. The only stipulation is the families have to make $50,000 or less to qualify.

“Since this is being offered on our campus, we try to get students from accounting and business to go to the training so they learn how to prepare tax returns for these individuals,” accounting associate professor Karen Haun said.

 Accounting associate professor Karen Haun assists with VITA training sessions for students volunteering with the upcoming tax season. From Jan. 20 to April 15, students will help file taxes. Briana Aleman/The Collegian
Accounting associate professor Karen Haun assists with VITA training sessions for students volunteering with the upcoming tax season. From Jan. 20 to April 15, students will help file taxes. Briana Aleman/The Collegian

Also, qualified families can receive counseling and other resources provided by United Way.

Haun posted an announcement sheet in all of her classes and sent home a packet for students to complete if they were interested. Training is still available, so interested students can contact Haun at 817-515-3320 or karen.haun@tccd.edu.

“Nov. 21, we trained 32 students at our SE Campus during training session,” she said.

Students who went through that training are working on their certification before they volunteer. To take part in the program, students had to go through a criminal background check, prepare several tax returns and pass multiple tests, Haun said.

“The training for this program will be rigorous, but in the end, it will help them gain soft skills needed when communicating,” she said.

Stating that the No. 1 concern with people in business is that students lack the soft skills they need, Haun also sent an email reminding students of what is to be expected.

“VITA will allow you to develop lifelong skills and build your resume/college/scholarship applications along with receiving the personal satisfaction of serving your community,” Haun said in the email.

Last year, SE Campus’ VITA site completed 477 tax returns resulting in refunds of $751,035, Haun said.

“Volunteer work is great, but volunteering for this is something greater,” Haun said. “Students will gain so much more through this experience.”

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