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

Students volunteer to do taxes

By Mary Nunez/ reporter

The TCC community has one less thing to worry about during tax season.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program offers free tax preparation assistance on South and SE campuses for individuals and households with an annual income of $55,000 or less.

Juan Ochoa, site manager of the SE location, described how people would benefit from this program.

“It’s better to come to a site where you get your taxes done for free than go somewhere and pay a certain amount of dollars to do your taxes because in this case you get all of your money back than having to pay someone to do them for you,” he said.

Several TCC students volunteer each year to help with the VITA program

Volunteers who participate have to go through advanced training, SE accounting associate professor Karen Haun said.

“Training is offered through the IRS,” she said. “They have to do a code-of-conduct exam. After that, they take an advanced exam where they have to get an 80 or above. If they pass the advanced exam, they can do any type of return that’s within the scope of VITA.”

Some students are taking advantage of the program, which continues through April 17. While waiting on his turn to be assisted, SE student Valmir Lumani said this gives him one less thing to worry about during tax time.

“Taxes are something that stress me out every year, but if I don’t have to pay to get them done, it’s a huge relief,” he said.

Jaqueline Varela, an Arlington resident who is not a student, is also taking advantage of the program.

“I’ve never heard of it until now, and I’ve been living here for two years,” she said. “I’m glad they offer this service.”

The program has certain limitations. Besides the income cap, Ochoa explained other procedures VITA preparers have to follow or cannot do.

“Like married filing separately, we cannot do that,” Ochoa said. “If you have a loss in your business, we’re not allowed to do that either.”

Volunteers can assist with tax returns noon-8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays in EMBC 1106 on SE and 2-7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays in the Family Empowerment Center in SFOF on South.

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