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The Suburbanite
  • Walsh students partner with Trillium to offer free tax preparation

  • Accounting and finance students from Walsh University will volunteer with a local program that offers free tax preparation to qualified individuals. Twenty juniors and seniors will take part in the Trillium Family Solutions VITA Tax Clinic program as part of a service learning course.

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  • Accounting and finance students from Walsh University will volunteer with a local program that offers free tax preparation to qualified individuals. Twenty juniors and seniors will take part in the Trillium Family Solutions VITA Tax Clinic program as part of a service learning course.
    Walsh University is one of a number of different sites where Trillium will offer the service.
    “This is the first year we are participating in the VITA Tax Clinic ... ” said Elizabeth Juelich, director of service learning at Walsh University. “Participating in the clinic will give our students an opportunity to utilize their knowledge and skills in a real-life setting helping our local community members.”
    Kristen Kilgore, VITA service coordinator at Trillium Family Solutions, said the clinics are part of the IRS Volunteer Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Everyone who prepares a return, including the student volunteers, must be certified in tax preparation through an online program called Link and Learn, also sponsored by the IRS.
    “After each student is finished with a tax return, someone from Trillium will review it,” Kilgore said. “We have been doing tax returns for many years at Trillium. This year we switched to the VITA program in order to have the ability to reach out to more people in the community. One of the major differences with VITA is it allows us to do taxes for people who have rent and royalties.”
    To qualify for the tax clinic, individuals must make less than $50,000 a year or be self-employed with less than $5,000 in expenses. Other requirements and a list of items to bring to their tax preparation will be given when making an appointment.
    “Working with local college students that have been studying tax law as part of their degree allows us to reach out to more people in the community, and it gives the students the experience of preparing actual tax returns. It's a win-win for everyone,” Kilgore said.
    The Walsh date is Feb. 28 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Barrette Business and Community Center. Those who qualify and would like to make an appointment can call 330-454-7066 ext. 328. Visit www.trilliumfs.org/taxes for a full list of dates and times in the area.