With the weather finally warming up and Georgetown Day right around the corner, it’s easy to forget that April is not only the season of spring but also the season of taxes.
A responsibility shouldered by many adults and families, filing income taxes can be a difficult task. With the founding of the inaugural Georgetown chapter of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, Georgetown students now have an opportunity to help.
VITA is a nationwide, federally funded program run by the Internal Revenue Service that provides free tax assistance to low-income families and individuals by hiring student volunteers to help with the process. Georgetown’s newly founded chapter will train volunteers to assist families in the D.C. community with tax filing and other financial matters starting with the 2014 tax season.
VITA presents an alternative community service experience, one that would draw in students who may not have been interested in more education-driven programs like D.C. Reads or D.C. Schools Project. It is an appealing opportunity not only for students looking to serve their community but also for those interested in accounting or finance — two fields typically not easily conducive to philanthropy. By offering opportunities to practice interpersonal communication and to learn the tax filing process itself, VITA will enable students to use their interests to help others and provide valuable career training for those who intend to pursue careers in finance or accounting.
As a university committed to service, it is heartening to see not only the expansion of current community service organizations but also the introduction of new ways to serve the District that add to the diversity and abundance of student service opportunities on campus.