Nearly 100 students and accounting professionals volunteered their time to complete tax returns for low-income individuals in Denver. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is run each year by students at the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver (DU). The students are part of the Alpha Zeta chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, the international honor organization for students in financial industries. The service is open to individuals below the income threshold of $53,000 a year and is free to all clients.
This year’s break-down by the numbers:
- Number of clients served: 327 filed
- Dollars of tax returns filed: $232,789 net refunds of any payments
- Number of volunteer hours: minimum of 1,040 hours
- Number of student volunteers: 81 student volunteers
- Number of professional volunteers: 11 reviewers from accounting firms and 2 professors
The students recruit and train volunteers that spend Fridays and Saturdays throughout tax season preparing, reviewing and filing returns for members of the Denver community. Volunteers include both students from DU and accounting professionals (CPAs) from the Denver business community, many of whom are our alums. The clients are roughly 50 percent domestic residents and 50 percent foreign residents, who file a non-resident return.
Shawnte Roberts and Sonia Crosby-Attipoe are the co-directors of the VITA program. Both are students in Daniels’ dual-degree bachelors and masters in accounting programs. “VITA is a practical way for students to use the skills they learn through the accounting program, all while achieving the mission of being a great private university dedicated to the public good,” they said.