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 Mallory.Schulte@coyotes.usd.edu.