The Fisher MAcc Council recently held an info session regarding the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program for current MAcc students as well as undergraduate accounting students interested in participating in this year’s tax filing season. If you are not familiar, the VITA program is organized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to offer free tax return services for low-income individuals and households. Volunteers must train before participating, and often work for a few hours a week at a designated site depending on one’s availability. The site that OSU students would be working at is about 5 minutes of driving from campus, and we would work on either Friday or Saturday, for either 5 or 10 weeks, from mid-January to the end of March next year.
I participated in the program for the first time my junior year during my undergraduate studies and my experience was absolutely enjoyable/rewarding. (I couldn’t do it during my senior year since I had a conflict with my internship.) However, I really hope I would be able to join yearly from now on, since the experience of interacting with people from different backgrounds and being able to apply what I have learned in class in real life to help others is so fulfilling. Although my career interest is audit, I’m very obsessed with taxes. In fact, I registered for all four tax classes offered next semester. Solving a tax problem, such as filing a tax return, is like solving a puzzle to me. I’m given all the facts about a person’s financial circumstances, and now have to piece them together to complete their returns so that I can help them not only comply with the law, but also in most cases optimize their refunds since we all love to get some cash back when submitting our returns, and if the cash is a big check that is even better. Not to mention the free snacks and food, as well as the welcoming atmosphere, especially from the site supervisor, as she appreciated all volunteers who took time to come and help.
With that, I’m definitely looking forwards to rejoining the program this spring!