Faculty, students provide tax help

By Jennifer Caldwell
If you need help filing your taxes and earn under $45,000, some University of the Incarnate Word accounting professors, students and volunteers are offering free assistance Saturdays through April 15.
For the past 20 years, Professor Theresa Tiggeman, an associate professor of accounting in the H-E-B School of Business and Administration, has been in charge of coordinating and leading the free tax assistance program at the University of the Incarnate Word.
From 9 a.m. until noon in the basement of the Administration Building, those eligible can get that help. The team includes Tiggeman; Dr. Tracie Edmond, an assistant professor of accounting; UIW alum Robin Guerrero; specially trained UIW students; interns from accounting firms; and some volunteer certified professional accountants. The UIW students are certified by the Internal Revenue Service after three weeks of training and learn how to E-file tax returns to the IRS.
Besides giving UIW community members assistance with personal taxes and for students to see the amount of the education tax credits they or their parents receive for the year, Tiggeman said the program is a service-learning opportunity for her students as well.
“It’s great for the students who are helping [because they] get the experience and the confidence they need [for careers],” Tiggeman says.
New students are paired with returning volunteers to coach them through the process of assisting and reading tax return documents. Students are able to see real-life examples of concepts they are learning in the classroom, but also have a chance to see complex issues on tax returns they may not necessarily understand, but can learn from experienced volunteers who are able to explain the procedures of handling problems, Tiggeman said.
Tiggeman and Edmond work alongside the students to assist when needed, but learn from the students as well.
“[The volunteers] are delighted [to work with the students]. They have learning relationships with the students,” Tiggeman said.

Teresa Tiggeman and Dr. Tracie Edmond

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