HPU students file taxes for community members for free

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High Point University student Kayla Griffith helps a community member file their taxes through VITA.

HIGH POINT, N.C. — High Point University students are participating in the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program and helping members of the community file their taxes free of charge for the fourth year in a row.

HPU said students are enrolled in a service learning course that equips them with the skills needed to participate in VITA, a program that provides free assistance with tax return preparation to low to moderate income community members.

Throughout the course, students learn the technical skills of tax return preparation and soft skills like preparer ethics, then put them to use with VITA. Students are taking their expertise to locations around the community such as the Community and Neighborhood Development Center and the West End Community Center.

After this tax season is complete, 52 HPU students will have participated in the VITA program and will have worked approximately 1,346 hours and prepared 911 state and federal tax returns since 2012.

“The VITA program is very important because it allows those that don’t have the ability to pay for someone to file their taxes the chance to still get help from people who have tax knowledge,” said Kristine Faxlanger, HPU junior. “Participating in this program has opened my eyes to the world of tax preparation and given me hands on experience that will benefit me for years to come.”