Accounting students help community with tax returns

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — This tax season, 13 Pennsylvania College of Technology accounting students helped clients file close to 150 federal income tax returns.

The free service is part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program sponsored by the IRS. It is designed to help taxpayers who have relatively uncomplicated returns to prepare their returns and file electronically.

The returns yielded almost $200,000 in refunds for the taxpayers who participated.

Eleven of the students staffing the college’s VITA walk-in services were enrolled in the Income Taxation for Individuals course taught by Michael D. Shipman, instructor of business administration/accounting. Two additional students, who are members of the college’s Accounting Society and took the course last year, volunteered their time and served as supervisors.

The program, which ran from Feb. 5 to April 5, was administered by Shipman and Bob Nolan, a part-time accounting faculty member, who provided quality review on the completed tax returns.

To participate, students — like all individuals who answer tax law questions or help to prepare tax returns — were required to complete an IRS course that certified them to prepare tax returns at the minimum of the basic level. Many also completed certification to complete advanced returns.

The experience went hand-in-hand with the students’ classroom studies, providing an opportunity to put their knowledge to use and to practice client interaction.

In addition to federal income tax returns, volunteers helped clients to file state returns, as well as several local returns and rent rebate paperwork.

The program was further supported by faculty members Kevin R. Derr, professor of legal assistant, who answered student and taxpayer questions, and Roy A. Fletcher, assistant professor of business administration: banking and finance.

Penn College offers associate and bachelor’s degrees in accounting, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration: banking and finance concentration. To learn more, call 570-327-4505 or visit www.pct.edu/accounting.

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, visit www.pct.edu, email admissions@pct.edu or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Last Updated May 11, 2018