BYU Accounting Students Provide Free Tax Assistance to Community

VITA Lab runs February 2 - March 27

PROVO, Utah – Jan 22, 2015 – If you’re worried about the stress and cost of hiring an accountant this tax season, Brigham Young University accounting students may be able to alleviate some of that pressure.

IRS-certified student volunteers from the BYU School of Accountancy provide free tax assistance to community members who make less than $53,000 per year, while receiving valuable professional experience in the process. BYU’s chapter of the national Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program prepared more than 2,000 tax returns last year, making it the largest VITA site in the country.

“The VITA program is designed to help taxpayers who otherwise may not be able to afford paying a professional tax preparer,” says Brian Spilker, BYU accounting professor and VITA lab adviser. “The situation is really a win-win. The student volunteers get the opportunity to provide service to others and also get to apply the tax laws they’ve been studying.”

Approximately 150 students will volunteer in the VITA lab this year, which runs from February 2 - March 27 in room W139 of the Tanner Building. Those interested in utilizing the services provided by BYU’s VITA program can visit vita.byu.edu to schedule an appointment up to one week in advance, since there is limited availability and appointments fill up quickly.

Brock Wright, a second-year MAcc student from Bountiful, Utah, who serves as VITA site coordinator sees firsthand how valuable the program can be for community members.

“For many of our taxpayers, refunds can range into the hundreds or thousands, and for some, that can be the difference between making next month’s rent or not,” Wright says.

Wright encourages those who can’t participate in the lab to take advantage of the variety of free online tax filing services listed at vita.byu.edu. For questions about VITA, contact vita.byu@gmail.com.

The Marriott School is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. The school has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, entrepreneurship, finance, information systems and public management. The school’s mission is to prepare men and women of faith, character and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Approximately 3,000 students are enrolled in the Marriott School’s graduate and undergraduate programs.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Madison Nield