January 31, 2024
24-8

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Volunteers Offer Free Income Tax Preparation Assistance

Valdosta State University’s Department of Accounting and Beta Alpha Psi chapter are ready to support underserved populations across South Georgia by providing free federal and state tax return preparation and electronic filing services. To qualify for this free community service, taxpayers must have a household income of less than $70,000 for the year.

vsu30230vita-tax.jpgVolunteer tax preparers are available to meet with taxpayers from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays in the first-floor lobby of VSU’s Health Sciences and Business Administration Building, located at the intersection of Patterson Street and Pendleton Drive across from South Georgia Medical Center. Area residents who wish to utilize this service should have all their tax-related documents with them when they arrive on campus.

vsu30153vita-tax.jpgThis is VSU’s sixth year participating with the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program.

 

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University’s Department of Accounting and Beta Alpha Psi chapter are ready to support underserved populations across South Georgia by providing free federal and state tax return preparation and electronic filing services. To qualify for this free community service, taxpayers must have a household income of less than $70,000 for the year.
 
This is VSU’s sixth year participating with the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. The student and faculty volunteers met with their first clients Tuesday, Jan. 30.  
 
Kenna Fussell, president of Beta Alpha Psi, said 11 VSU accounting and finance majors are volunteering their time to work with the IRS VITA Program this year. All of them have passed tax law training that meets or exceeds IRS standards, including maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of all taxpayer information.
 
Volunteer tax preparers are available to meet with taxpayers from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays in the first-floor lobby of VSU’s Health Sciences and Business Administration Building, located at the intersection of Patterson Street and Pendleton Drive across from South Georgia Medical Center. Area residents who wish to utilize this service should have all their tax-related documents with them when they arrive on campus.
 
Appointments are not necessary.
 
All tax returns go through a quality review check prior to filing, and they are not filed until the taxpayer gives final approval.
 
The VSU volunteers are supervised by Dr. Candace Witherspoon, certified fraud examiner, professor of accounting, and head of the Department of Accounting, and Dr. Raymond Elson, certified public accountant, professor of accounting, and associate dean of the Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration.
 
During the 2023 tax-filing season, VSU’s student volunteers completed 131 tax returns through the IRS VITA Program, representing an estimated economic impact of more than $250,000.
 
Fussell, a Valdosta resident, said Beta Alpha Psi is proud of its tradition of being a trusted and reliable source of tax preparation services for the community. This is her third year working with the IRS VITA Program, and she described the annual initiative as a prime example of service learning and community engagement in action. 
 
Fussell earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from VSU in 2023 and is currently pursuing a Master of Accountancy in Accounting.
 
Beta Alpha Psi: The International Honor Organization for Financial Information Students and Professionals encourages the study and practice of accountancy, finance, business analytics, or digital technology; provides opportunities for service, professional development, and interaction among members and financial professionals; and fosters lifelong ethical, social, and public responsibilities.
 
VSU’s Department of Accounting holds specialized accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), placing it among the top two percent of collegiate accounting programs worldwide.
 
VSU’s College of Business Administration also holds extended AACSB accreditation for its Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration programs, maintaining its position among the top five percent of the world’s business schools. 
 
AACSB accreditation helps to ensure that students are learning material that is most relevant to their field of study, preparing them to be effective leaders and lifelong learners capable of meeting the needs of a changing global society upon graduation.
 
Please contact Wesley Jarnagin, VSU Department of Accounting graduate assistant, at wcjarnagin@diztex.com for more information.
 
On the Web:
http://1.diztex.com/colleges/business/
http://www.bap.org/
http://www.irs.gov/individuals/irs-vita-grant-program
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