Tax return season is upon us

Luter students help residents with their taxes

Many students from the Luter School of Business will volunteer to help local residents with their tax returns for free this year. They take part in a program called VITA, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. This is an is an IRS sponsored tax assistance program, which targets low income taxpayers. The volunteers are trained, and the tax software is provided by the IRS.

One of the other perks of this program is that it counts for many students who need credits. They can get one credit each spring semester for it. The program really is geared to help the students learn more as well as help the residents in the Newport News community.

While they can receive credit for this, not everyone chooses to do that. About half of the students elect to get one credit for participating while the other half just choose to volunteer.

This program is a great way for students to get experience while helping out their local community. Accounting Instructor Professor Gabriele Lingenfelter started this at CNU. “I started it in 2005. I had run a similar program at another school and military installations in Germany. I believed that our accounting majors needed hands on learning and engagement in the community,” Lingenfelter said.

The students who take part in this program seem to thoroughly enjoy it. “It’s a great way to be helpful and assist people with something that might feel overwhelming for them or that they simply do not understand,” senior volunteer Addison Roeschley said.

Not only are they doing something great for the community. They are helping enrich their learning experience by taking part. “It’s a great way for us to learn a little more about the tax process and gain insight on the tax laws that are in place to help people who are in lower level tax brackets that we might not see as much once we begin a career as a CPA, and they help to provide an understanding of how the tax system works for us to build on in later classes,” Roeschley said.

This program is truly a great way for students to learn more within the Luter School of Business as well as to help out the community. Something as little as a tax return can truly go a long way with the students as well as the residents they are helping out.

~Taryn Hannam-Zatz, News Editor~

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