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ERIC Number: EJ1055054
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Development of an Award Winning Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program: A Case Study
Miller, William F.; Thalacker, Brenda L.
American Journal of Business Education, v6 n5 p539-550 2013
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, sponsored by the IRS, offers free tax services for individuals with low-to-moderate incomes, the elderly, disabled and/or those who lack English language proficiency. Although established by the IRS in 1969, it is administered by partnering community based volunteer organizations throughout U.S., like universities, schools, religious groups, credit unions or other non-profit organizations. Many VITA sites are sponsored and run by universities through their Accounting departments. The 2012 Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council Public Report indicated that in 2010 only 3% of qualifying tax returns were prepared at VITA sites, with 62% of qualifying returns being prepared by paid preparers (IRS, 2012, p.51). In addition, there are still a large number of individuals who fail to file returns at all often leaving potential tax refunds and credits unclaimed (Lim, DeJohn and Murray, 2012). The purpose of this paper is to share the best practices used at our university to create an award winning VITA program. The specific topics to be addressed are location, layout, operating hours, staffing & training, process, promotion, electronic filing, other services and things to avoid. These topics are not only what we believe to be the most important in running a successful VITA site but the American Taxation Association 2007 Best Practices Report lists these same topics as well (ATA, 2007). We will conclude the paper with a discussion of our plans for the future growth of the program.
Descriptors: Taxes, Public Agencies, Accounting, Universities, Volunteers, Low Income, Older Adults, Disabilities, Best Practices, Program Design, Scheduling, Internet, Program Development, Futures (of Society), Case Studies, Course Descriptions, Facilities, Learning Experience, Certification, Tests, College Students, Awards
Clute Institute. 6901 South Pierce Street Suite 239, Littleton, CO 80128. Tel: 303-904-4750; Fax: 303-978-0413; e-mail: Staff@CluteInstitute.com; Web site: http://www.cluteinstitute.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin