APSU collaboration offers free 2022 tax preparation services
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – For the sixth year, the Austin Peay State University College of Business will partner with United Way of Greater Nashville to offer free tax preparation services for individuals earning less than $66,000 annually through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. The program is available as part of a service-learning course led by Jennifer Thayer, assistant professor of accounting. Through the program, students earn advanced IRS certifications and practical application skills.
The experience provides a unique hands-on approach to classroom lessons in real-time. Graduate Teaching Assistant Kim Hardin is returning this season after she witnessed the impact herself as an undergraduate.
"We're helping people right here in our communities,” Hardin said. “It's great to know you've helped someone you could pass in the street, even if it's just sharing a little bit of knowledge they can pay forward."
Hardin also shared how meaningful it is to serve as a mentor to new students in the program.
"It's one thing to talk about it in class and another putting it into practice,” she said. “This year, I have the added benefit of gaining more experience in the review process, which means I interact more with the people we are assisting. I try to share the same enthusiasm Jennifer Thayer exudes with the new students to help them build confidence in their skills."
The program relies heavily on the support of regional accountants and programs like the one offered at APSU. Since moving to a virtual format, students have been able to serve more individuals, preparing close to 300 returns in 2022. Those interested in taking advantage of the free service should visit GetYourRefund.org to get started. The program is an invaluable way to help individuals and communities with financial education and stability.
For more information about the VITA program, contact Thayer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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