The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program is a strategic partnership between the Charlton College of Business, the Leduc Center, and the Community Economic Development Center (CEDC) in New Bedford, MA. The initiative was designed by the IRS to promote and support free tax preparation service for the underserved, targeting low-to-moderate income individuals (those earning up to $54,000), persons with disabilities, the elderly, and limited English-speaking who need assistance in preparing their tax returns.
Student volunteers, certified by the IRS through a training program, provide free basic income tax return preparation to individuals in the local communities who qualify for the program. In 2016, 20 students volunteered with the VITA Program, helping file 1,700 state and federal tax returns, which resulted in the processing of $3 million in tax refunds.
Any student who is able to make a 40-hour commitment from early February through mid-April, as well as volunteer at least two days during the week.
Volunteers must attend a mandatory training session and successfully complete the certification test at the end of training in order to work. Returning volunteers must attend the mandatory training session and review any updates in the tax codes. The date and location of the training session will be announced at the beginning of the spring semester.
Volunteers may play multiple roles in the tax preparation process. The Community Economic Development Center has screeners, intake, preparers, quality reviewers, and on-site checkers. Volunteers will be asked to perform many of these tasks. The VITA program also has other opportunities including translators, benefit advocates, and off-site coordinators.
The following link has helpful information about the VITA program and its requirements.
How to Apply
If you are interested in serving as a VITA member, please contact us.