ATHENS, WV (WOAY) – The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is a free tax filing opportunity. Through it, community members can offer their time to help area residents fill out their taxes, and serve as an alternative to other filing services.
The nationwide program is offered for senior citizens, people making under $58,000 a year, and a few other select groups. Any local organization can get certified for the program and become a volunteer.
Concord University is one volunteer site, and has served in the program for more than 10 years.
“This is our 11th year,” said Shelly Stump, an assistant professor of accounting at Concord. “We have Concord University students prepare income tax returns for qualified area residents.”
Accounting and other finance students at Concord are given the opportunity to sign up and help locals with their taxes throughout the filing season. This year, 19 students have signed up to volunteer their time.
Concord says it’s good for all parties. It gives the students some valuable tax experience and helps the community by providing a free service. As well, they say the service is more personable, and provides one-on-one assistance with tax filers.
“The community seems to enjoy it and it’s a great learning experience for the students.”
Anyone in the area can sign up for an appointment starting this Wednesday. Concord will begin tax preparations on Feb. 8. They will take appointments at the University and the Mercer County Commission on Aging.