By Ashley Marie Bowden
LOGOS STAFF WRITER
Saturday, April 14, is the last day that qualifying students and low-income families can get free help with filing the 2011 income taxes at the University of the Incarnate Word.
Specially trained UIW undergraduate and graduate students have been meeting with the first 50 clients who show up from 9 Saturday mornings until noon since February in the basement of the Administration Building near Hortencia’s. The student workers are supervised by accounting faculty members: Dr. Tracie Edmond, Professor Theresa Tiggeman and Professor Robin Guerrero.
One Saturday recently, a taxpayer who only gave her first name as “Milly” was taking advantage of the free service for the first time. In previous years, she said, her now ex-husband took care of the taxes so this was her first time actually filing on her own.
Milly explains her confidence in coming to UIW to get her taxes done.
“It’s like a friend, you feel more confident in their service,” she said, adding that she was , familiar with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program because of her job in social work. “As an insider from the community people give great feedback about the program. VITA really respects their client’s privacy,” she said.
Edmond said the process doesn’t change much from year to year.
“There are not really many differences,” she said. “The tax laws change every year, so that is always an adjustment. We have a new process for outprocessing the client and that seems to make the whole process run smoother.”
A UIW junior who only gave her name as “Roni” also waited in line to get her taxes done for the second year, adding that she was confident with her peers preparing the taxes.
“Last year was a smooth process and my taxes were quickly done,” Roni said. “Using VITA, they go by step-by-step and know what your needs are.”