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TCNJ students volunteer in tax assistance program

EWING, NJ…Sixteen accounting students at The College of New Jersey are participating in the IRS-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program this semester.

VITA program volunteers help low-income individuals file their tax returns, said C. Andrew LaFond, assistant professor of accounting and information systems. “The IRS wants to provide this service for people who may be eligible for benefits they’re not aware of,” he said.

As part of LaFond’s Federal Income Taxation course last semester, all of his students took and passed the VITA certification test. LaFond recruited 16 of them to volunteer for VITA this semester.

“I’m very proud of the students that have stepped up to the plate to give back to the community,” LaFond said.

The students are all accounting majors and most are seniors, though a few are juniors.

Many of the students are volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club of Trenton. Some others have been placed with organizations like the United Empowerment Center in Lawrenceville and the Mercer County Hispanic Association in Trenton. The VITA volunteers are serving people in low-income populations who may need help filling out certain forms that can help them receive money back from the government, LaFond said.

Simone Simpson, a senior accounting major participating in the program, said, “I joined VITA because I love the mission and goal of the program. It’s a great feeling to know that you have helped someone in a tremendous way. I think it’s a great way to give back to the community and I’m glad that I am a part of such a wonderful program.”

For more information about the VITA program, visit http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=107626,00.html

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