Accounting students assist over 150 local residents with tax preparations

April 26, 2022

Students assists a local resident with taxes

Accounting students at Quinnipiac had an opportunity this spring to demonstrate their skills while also supporting local residents.

Through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, Quinnipiac offered free income tax preparation services to taxpayers with annual household incomes of $57,000 or less. Thirty-five accounting students assisted 150 taxpayers, preparing 300 federal and state tax returns and generating over $150,000 in refunds for taxpayers in the greater Hamden and New Haven communities.

The VITA program provides students with the opportunity to give back to the community and helps students choose and prepare for their career paths. Brooke Aubry, a junior accounting major at Quinnipiac, said taking part in VITA was a great experience.

“When I first heard about VITA, I signed up immediately,” Aubry said. “I loved that I would be able to give back to the community I live in, and I would be able to get experience in the field I hope to be working in by helping the Hamden residents file their taxes. Being able to apply what I learned in the classroom to a real-world setting was amazing.”

The volunteers saved taxpayers about $5,000 in tax preparation fees, according to Matthew Maron, an assistant teaching professor of accounting and the VITA program coordinator. Still, there were challenges.
“Being unable to meet with the taxpayers face to face due to the COVID pandemic made for another challenging tax season, as all tax returns were prepared remotely on campus,” Maron said. “Without being able to meet individually with the taxpayers, a lockbox drop-off, pick-up system was utilized again this year, which resulted in a delayed preparation process. But in the end, the accounting student volunteers rose to the occasion and completed all tax returns requested.”

Maron added that “due to the tax returns being prepared remotely, there were numerous occasions that the students needed to call the taxpayers with questions and request missing tax documents.  I was extremely impressed and proud of our student's communication skills, and how well they represented Quinnipiac in a very courteous and professional manner.”

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