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The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


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VITA program helps students, community members file taxes

Matthew Brown
The Kent State Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship, located at 475 Terrace Dr.

Accounting students are helping the Kent community this tax season through the university’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA).   

The program was started in 2011 by Paula DiVincenzo, manager of tax and treasury services at the university, who created it to advance the opportunities accounting students had while benefiting the community. 

Mindy Nett, one of the program’s heads, said this is an opportunity for accounting students to gain meaningful experience, not only with the process of doing tax returns but through interacting with community members. 

“The students actually meet the clients when they come in, look through all of their information, make sure they’re eligible for the program, review all of their documents and ask them for any questions they have,” Nett said. 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Nett said VITA can do the tax returns without requiring the clients to sit and wait through the process. Instead, a member of the program will call when the tax returns are ready for pickup. 

To be eligible in VITA, clients must be Kent State students or Kent community members and make $64,000 or less or be 60 years or older. 

This year, the participating accounting students received a special certification to assist international students in filing their taxes. 

Emma Sales, a senior account major, is working within the VITA program for course credit. Sales said she enjoys the diversity of clients they work with. 

“Everybody’s different,” she said. “You don’t think you’ll have a problem until you run into a problem and every small return you do is different, so you learn a lot more with the hands-on experience.” 

She said it is interesting to see how people in her community live their lives and the different jobs people may have. 

“I worked in an internship last year doing taxes,” she said. “That’s really different, because those are people paying hundreds of dollars for somebody to do a tax return, so you feel disconnected almost, but doing this, these are just everyday people.” 

Tax day is April 15, and the VITA program accepts walk-ins and appointments on select days leading up to this.

Kayla Gleason is a beat reporter. Contact her at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Kayla Gleason, Reporter
Kayla is a sophomore journalism major. She enjoys writing about the current events happening around campus.
Contact her at [email protected]
Matthew Brown, Photo Editor
Matthew is a junior photography major. He has a passion for photography and traveling. Contact him at [email protected].

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