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Accounting Class Students help with “Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program” at Bluefield State (w/photo)

  • Created
    Monday, February 21 2011
  • Created by
    Jim Nelson/Media Relations - (304) 327-4103 jnelson@bluefieldstate.edu
BSC_VITA_Students_Faculty

Bluefield State College accounting students (front row, left-to-right) Loren Morris, Brandee Keener, Dana Hunter, Michelle Cales, Elizabeth Stamper, Amanda Robinson, Sangita Mehta, (back row, l-to-r) Katrina Freeman, Professor Paris Lester, Justin Tibbs, Takais Crosier, and (not pictured) Lorey Spade are key members of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program available at BSC.  The program operates in conjunction with the United Way of the Virginias.  Individuals interested in receiving assistance this year must call the United Way of the Virginias (276-322-2606) to schedule an appointment.

(Bluefield)—For some college students, laboratory work involves test tubes, white coats, and microscopes.  For Bluefield State College students in Professor Paris Lester’s Advanced Tax class, this semester’s lab-like experience involves income tax preparation.  Eleven students in the class have joined Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site coordinator Michelle Williams (executive director/the United Way of the Virginias), Professor Lester, and other trained volunteers to provide free income tax preparation help at Bluefield State College for low-to-moderate income individuals.

BSC student volunteers Loren Morris, Brandee Keener, Dana Hunter, Michelle Cales, Elizabeth Stamper, Amanda Robinson, Sangita Mehta, Katrina Freeman, Justin Tibbs, Takais Crosier, and Lorey Spade have passed an Internal Revenue Test for tax preparation certification.  “The students realize VITA is a ‘real world experience’ and serves as a great laboratory,” Lester observed.  “They work each Monday and Thursday as they help residents complete their returns.”

“In the first two weeks of this year’s program, VITA volunteers here have assisted more than 100 individuals with their tax returns,” Williams added.  “The students are an important and vital part of this effort.  They are knowledgeable, well prepared, and thorough.”  Last year, area residents received more than $234,000 in refunds with the help of the VITA program.  Individuals interested in receiving assistance this year must call the United Way of the Virginias (276-322-2606) to schedule an appointment.