Sixteen TCNJ accounting students New Jersey participated in the IRS-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program this semester.
VITA program volunteers helped low-income individuals file their tax returns, said C. Andrew LaFond, assistant professor of accounting and information systems. “The IRS wanted to provide this service for people who were eligible for benefits they’re not aware of,” he said.
As part of LaFond’s Federal Income Taxation course last semester, all of his students took and passed the VITA certification test. LaFond recruited 16 of them to volunteer for VITA this semester.
“I’m very proud of the students who stepped up to the plate to give back to the community,” LaFond said.
The students were all accounting majors and most were seniors, though a few are juniors.
Many of the students volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club of Trenton. Some others were placed with organizations like the United Empowerment Center in Lawrenceville and the Mercer County Hispanic Association in Trenton. The VITA volunteers served people in low-income populations who may need help filling out certain forms that can help them receive money back from the government, LaFond said.
Simone Simpson, a senior accounting major participating in the program, said, “I joined VITA because I love the mission and goal of the program. It’s a great feeling to know that you have helped someone in a tremendous way. I think it’s a great way to give back to the community and I’m glad that I am a part of such a wonderful program.”