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ISU students help calculate community tax returns

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - Idaho State University student volunteers helped community members file about 480 tax returns. About 20 students worked as tax preparers, including some non-accounting majors.

It is part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which offers students and community members fee tax preparation as a real-world opportunity to College of Business accounting students. 

In a typical year, clients would sit beside students while the taxes were completed.  This year, clients sat in hallways with at least six feet between them.  Program advisor and clinical accounting professor Dr. Dawn Konicek said the first goal this year was to keep students and the community safe from COVID-19.

“Those who prepare taxes learn the technicalities of taxes and they also learn to volunteer and give back to the communities that support them. This service also helps those who cannot afford to have their taxes filed by an accountant.” 

Konicek said the relaxed atmosphere gave students the opportunity to ask more questions.

“Due to our process change, I believe the students learned more this year,” noted Konicek. “Students were not under so much pressure; I was also able to answer more questions and cater more toward students.” 

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