Volunteers help with tax returns

By Jenifer Jaffe


If you make $55,000 a year or less, volunteers will help you with your tax return preparation free Saturday mornings through April 15 at the University of the Incarnate Word.

Trained undergraduate and graduate accounting students, professors and volunteers began offering this service Feb. 2 from 10 a.m. to noon in Room 62 of the Administration Building.

The program was established about 30 years ago with the intent of providing free financial service to the poor and elderly. It remains extremely beneficial to those in the community in need of aid, administrators said.

Taxpayers should bring their driver’s license, a copy of their Social Security card, W-2 forms and a copy of last year’s tax returns, said Dr. Tracie Edmond, an assistant professor in accounting. Edmond is a certified public accountant.

Accounting students gain valuable experience by preparing the returns, Edmond said.

“We have two layers of students helping: the undergraduates work with the graduate students one-on-one in the beginning so they have an expert who has done it before or who has taken some advanced classes,” Edmond said. “After about the third week, the graduate students step back and become the reviewers.”

The students volunteering also benefit from the program by earning community service hours required for graduation. Since the community is coming to the campus for the service, they’re not restricted to the 15-hour, on-campus cap.

“It’s the service component of a class,” Edmond said. “If they work every single Saturday, they have all of their volunteer hours required by the school.”

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