Business Students Assist Community with Free Tax Preparation
The deadline for filing taxes is here and most Americans have already finished their 1040s, but statistics suggest approximately 5 million Americans will wait until the last day before submitting. Southern’s School of Business did its part to keep that number down by facilitating a free tax preparation clinic this Spring for qualifying members of the community.
Students who volunteered for this service were IRS trained and certified, many of them graduate students in the School of Business. They spent the entire month of February working with tax filers in Fleming Plaza, using vacant office space between the Adventist Book Center and Village Market, to prepare the forms and review information. Each submission was seen by at least two students to ensure the return’s quality.
This annual service has received positive response from the community, with 2016 showing the highest number of visitors to date. Many who come through are return customers from past years, indicating that everything went smoothly. Although service-learning credit was available for student volunteers, many found it beneficial in other ways as well.
“I’m an accounting major and this is great experience,” said sophomore Nicholas Bunch. “By volunteering I’ve found the specific area of my field I want to pursue, which is tax preparation.”
The program brought Southern’s message of service to life. For students, it was one of many chances the university provides to help them practice using their skills for a greater good.
“We’re reaching a segment of our community that may not typically come to evangelistic events,” Bunch said. “Some people do not want to be preached at, but through our service we can show that they are loved and someone is watching out for them.”