UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | June 18, 2024

Utah Tech accounting department offers free tax preparation help to community

Utah Tech Accounting Department Offers free assistance with taxes to students. Brynlee Wade | Sun News Daily

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Utah Tech University’s accounting department prepares its students by offering real-world experience in tax preparation.

Utah Tech’s accounting department offers help with tax preparation through a program called Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. This program is open to anyone who makes $57,000 or less, people with disabilities, senior citizens and/or limited English speakers.

VITA was started in 2009 as a national program for students to gain immediate experience and help those in the community under certain income thresholds file their returns with the IRS and the state of Utah for free. The program typically helps file 1,500 to 2,000 returns each year.

“We especially encourage those who may otherwise not know where to turn for assistance to join us,” said Bryan Stewart, associate professor of accounting.

This program offers students real-world experience that will correlate with their careers after college.

“This is phenomenal practice for students; they have the opportunity to apply skills learned in class in a real world, controlled environment,” said James Richards, visiting assistant professor of the practice of accounting. “For many students, this opportunity is a highlight of their accounting education experience and directly affects their employment opportunities.”

While many students take advantage of this free program, most of the people using it are southern Utah community members.

In order to meet the deadline, students and community members must have their return completed by April 18 or ask for an extension. When going to an appointment made through VITA, the following documentation must be brought in order to complete taxes:

  • Social security card
  • Valid photo identification
  • All tax documentation received for the 2022 tax year

Appointments for this program started Feb. 7 and will continue until April 13. Appointments can be made through the accounting department website or the Earn it. Keep it. Save it. website.