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Tuscarawas News Detail

Kent State’s VITA Program Seeks Volunteers to Assist in Its Free Services This Tax Season

Posted Jan. 14, 2013

Kent State University’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is seeking volunteers to assist in a free tax-filing service this tax season for low- to moderate-income individuals who qualify to have their income taxes filed free of charge.

Paula DiVencenzo, business and finance tax manager at Kent State, says that she is seeking volunteers who would like to lend a helping hand while gaining valuable professional skills.

“Volunteers have meaningful interactions with clients and play a critical role in ensuring the clients take advantage of all the deductions and credits available to them,” DiVencenzo says. “Volunteers will receive free IRS training and support, which will lead to more confidence in their ability to prepare their own tax return and their friends’ and family’s returns, while gaining the invaluable real-world experience that looks good on a resume.”

Training sessions will begin the week of Jan. 14. Sessions related to foreign student and scholar returns will be held on Jan. 26 and Feb. 23. Volunteers are required to attend a training class or self-study online, and all volunteers will certify online.

DiVencenzo says that volunteering for the VITA program will help students enhance their communication, technical, problem-solving and leadership skills. Although students are encouraged to volunteer, the program is encouraging all members of the community to participate in the VITA program.

Andy Yan, accounting graduate student at Kent State, says that he gained valuable experience while volunteering for the Kent State VITA program. Yan says that he learned how to use TaxWise, a tax software program, as a volunteer.

DiVencenzo says that there are additional volunteer positions available that do not require certification, including greeters, clerical assistants and receptionists.

According to Yan, volunteering for the VITA program is a great learning experience and is quite rewarding.

“It’s good to help people,” Yan says. “I want to give back to our community.”

For more information about the Kent State VITA program, visit www.kent.edu/tax/vita