POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Some tax relief is being offered at Idaho State University over the next few weeks. Accounting students are giving free tax help through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA). Meanwhile, students get real-world experience in return.
“It gives you an opportunity to do some tax before you’re graduated,” senior accounting student, Mary Higley said.
Mary is one of nearly 40 students participating in this year’s VITA program. Although Mary is getting her feet wet in filing tax returns, she says the real benefit is helping the community.
“It’s really nice to see someone come in, like a single mom, who doesn’t have a lot of money. Taxes are expensive and it's well over $100 getting them done. So, it’s really nice to see the relief.”
VITA is only available to ISU students, people who make $56,000 or less, those with disabilities or speak limited English.
“We prepare taxes for those who can’t afford it,” accounting professor and event coordinator, Dawn Konicek said. “so we do tax returns for students on campus and we do taxes for tax returns for the community.”
For those who feel a little uncomfortable about students filing your taxes, Professor Dave Bagley says there’s a tremendous level of review before it's filed.
“This is an IRS program. There’s a lot of training we go through -- that students have to go through. We all have to pass a test to be able to do this,” Bagley said. “So, the students are very well prepared. There’s a great level of help and support for them.”