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

SE students train to file taxes for others

SE students sit through one of the VITA training sessions to assist others with filing taxes. Photo by Coutney Horton/The Collegian
SE students sit through one of the VITA training sessions to assist others with filing taxes.
Photo by Coutney Horton/The Collegian

By Courtney Horton/reporter

Some SE students have gone through extensive training and are now ready to help people prepare their income tax returns.

“Knowing that at one time or another, my family was probably in need of a helping hand” prompted sophomore Juan Diaz to sign up for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Training on SE in November.

What inspired Diaz the most was just the joy of knowing he can help somebody. Diaz said his family’s own previous need made him feel as though he owed a part of himself to the community and others.

“I help because I know it matters and has probably made a difference in someone’s life,” he said.

Diaz added that the VITA training is not hard at all.

“VITA provides you with all the necessary books and documents you need in order to study and pass the test,” he said.

He let it be known that with effort from the student and enough time invested, it will come easy.

Student Corinda Allman, who will get her associate degree in May with a focus in accounting, also completed the VITA course.

“The training is the biggest hurdle,” she said.

Allman says the training manual is made for the entire U.S. and has to cover every aspect of taxes that could happen.

“To be a VITA volunteer, one needs to pass a Standards of Conduct — Ethics Test and then another test for the level of service the volunteer wishes to provide,” she said.

Many students tested for the advanced level of tax preparer.

“Over the years, I have known many people that spend $50 or more when they take their tax returns somewhere to be prepared,” Allman said.

Most of these returns are very basic and could be done by the individual, but most people are afraid of making mistakes, Allman said.

“I hated seeing people waste their money,” she said.

This will be Allman’s second year to volunteer. She said she takes away the knowledge that she has helped people like her.

“Funds are limited, and they could spend that $50 on food instead of preparing their taxes,” she said.

She also has met new people and has become friends with other tax preparers.

Diaz said giving back to those in need is like paying back those who helped his family.

“Making a difference in someone’s life is priceless, and knowing that I was able to provide for that difference is my motivation,” he said.

Accounting associate professor Karen Haun, who conducted the training, said the program is very rigorous for the students but benefits everyone from the volunteers to the families.

“Most of our student population work, so when we came back in January, I asked my students not to pay to have their taxes done. Just come here,” she said.

Diaz and Allman agree that volunteering for VITA training has helped in their career choice and has given them gratification.

Students interested in VITA training can contact Haun at karen.haun@tccd.edu or 817-515-3320 or visit her at ESED 2109 during her office hours.


Free Income Tax Preparation
for Households
Earning Less
Than $53,000

SE VITA
EMBC 1106

Now-April 15
Monday 1-7 p.m.
Tuesday 2-6 p.m.
Wednesday 1-7 p.m.
Thursday 2-6 p.m.
Friday CLOSED
Saturday 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Sunday CLOSED

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