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Volunteer Tax Program Continues Tradition of Service

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is offering free services this tax season to help low- and moderate-income earners prepare their tax returns.

Sponsored by the IRS and United Way of Vermillion, the VITA program uses certified volunteers from the Law School and Beacom School of Business to help prepare basic tax returns and answer tax-related questions.

"Volunteering with VITA is experiential learning," said Mallory Schulte, third-year law student and VITA coordinator. "You can learn more about the intricacies of the United States tax system as you help families secure the full tax refunds to which they are entitled."

Interested volunteers are provided with training and asked to commit to at least five clinical sessions. All volunteers must pass a series of online tests offered by the IRS.

Students are also provided a unique benefit: hands-on experience in a practice environment. "Taxes are personal. Preparers have to ask questions about finances and family relations. It is a crash course in building trust and confidence with clients," Schulte said.

Clinic hours vary but are routinely scheduled Tuesday and Saturdays at the Vermillion Public Library beginning Feb. 1 to April 9. For more information, contact Schulte at


USD’s Knudson School of Law prepares students for leadership in the administration of justice in South Dakota, including in rural areas where the demand is great, and for private practice, public service, business and other law-related endeavors anywhere. Its joint degree program allows students to also earn one of nine master’s degrees within the traditional three-year law curriculum, which includes course tracks in business, commercial, constitutional, criminal, employment, environmental, Indian, real estate and tax law as well as civil litigation and estate planning.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.