Students reflect on first year of VITA at CBC

Students reflect on first year of VITA at CBC

Accounting and business technology students from the Beeville, Alice and Pleasanton locations had the opportunity to prepare and submit taxes at no cost to community members for the 2012 through 2015 tax years as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs.

In order to volunteer for the program, students, faculty and community volunteers had to go through a rigorous two-day training and exam administered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

All together the students completed 2,382 volunteer hours and over 240 tax returns that netted $372,464 to community members during the three-month program.

CBC students spoke at the CBC Board of Trustees’ May meeting about the valuable hands-on experience they gained during their time in the VITA program.

“I went through two days of intense training to be certified while working three jobs, one of which is a graveyard shift while attending CBC,” said April Garcia, a current CBC student.

“I chose to be part of this program for two reasons. The first is to give back to my community to help people who do not have the funds to get their taxes done. And the second is because I knew this would be a great learning opportunity for me given that I am an accounting major.”

CBC Alice student and VITA site coordinator Vicky Trevino had a similar experience.

“It’s definitely something that the students need. It’s like a workplace. You have to deal with the clients, and you have to deal with co-workers. It was something that would help prepare college students for going out there into the real world. It’s one of the reasons I feel the college should keep doing things like this for students,” Trevino said.

VITA and TCE services will resume for the 2016 tax season in January 2017. For more information, contact CBC Associate Professor of Accounting Lupita Ramirez at (361) 354-2505 or via email at gramirez@coastalbend.edu.

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