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Kent State VITA Looks for Volunteers for Free Tax Services

Posted Nov. 5, 2012

Kent State University’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) program is seeking volunteers to assist in a free tax-filing service this tax season for low-to-moderate-income individuals who qualify to have their income taxes filed free of charge.

Paula DiVencenzo, business and finance tax manager at Kent State, is seeking volunteers who would like to lend a helping hand, while gaining valuable professional skills.

“Volunteers have meaningful interactions with clients and play a critical role in ensuring the clients take advantage of all the deductions and credits available to them,” DiVencenzo says. “Also volunteers will receive free IRS training and support, which will lead to more confidence in their ability to prepare their own tax returns and their friends’ and family’s returns, while gaining the invaluable real-world experience that looks good on a résumé.”

Training sessions will begin the week of Jan. 14, 2013. Sessions related to foreign student and scholar returns will take place on Jan. 26 and Feb. 23. Volunteers are required to attend a training class or self-study online, and all volunteers will certify online.

DiVencenzo says that volunteering for the VITA program will help students enhance their communication, technical, problem solving and leadership skills. Although students are encouraged to volunteer, the program is encouraging all members of the community to participate.

Andy Yan, accounting graduate student, says that he gained valuable experience while volunteering for the Kent State VITA program. Yan explains that he learned how to use TaxWise, a tax software program.

DiVencenzo explains that there are also additional volunteer positions available that do not require students to be certified, including greeters, clerical assistants and receptionists.

Yan says that volunteering for the VITA program is a great learning experience that is rewarding.

“It’s good to help people,” he says. “I want to give back to our community.”

For more information about training and certification, visit