Anderson University Falls School of Business students are once again providing free tax services for local residents who cannot afford professional services through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
VITA is a federal program offered through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to encourage all citizens to file taxes and ensure that filings are accurate. VITA will be offered at AU for a total of seven weeks this year starting at 6:30pm on Thursday nights. Remaining dates for VITA include: March 11, 25; and April 8.
VITA coordinator, Cindy Peck, says that the program has a tremendous impact on the community. “We served around 240 clients last year including members of the community and from AU,” says Peck. Peck adds that students who participate in the program also receive benefits. “Our students gain experience and practical service-learning,” she says, “plus, it can even be fun.”
The VITA program has been offered at AU for over thirty years, though there are no exact records. Cindy Peck, 2009 recipient of the Outstanding Educator Award by the Indiana CPA Society, has been the VITA coordinator for nine of those years. The program was created for local Anderson residents that cannot afford professional tax services, but AU students can also receive assistance. “International students are particularly helped,” says Peck, “because their tax returns aren’t able to be filed on the various online website that regular students can use.”
Appointments must be made prior to receiving assistance. Those interested in registering for VITA should contact Carol Whetsel at (765) 641-4358.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology. Falls School of Business is one of Anderson University’s largest academic departments offering eight undergraduate majors as well as MBA and DBA programs. The school is accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and is a member of the Christian Business Faculty Association (CBFA).