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Accountancy Students Provide Tax Help to Boise Community

Boise State student, Professor Kathy Hurley and a tax return client
Boise State student, Professor Kathy Hurley and a tax return client

Instructor Kathy Hurley and 17 students in ACCT 485 and 585, plus two volunteers, are helping to prepare tax returns for low-income individuals and households in the community.

This is the fifth year the accounting department has offered the program, which integrates service-learning methodology and provides a valuable hands-on learning experience for accounting students.

Diane Schooley-Pettis, COBE associate dean, said this exercise helps students prepare for the future.

“More than building skills in tax preparation, this experience fosters in students our COBE values of relevance, respect and responsibility. We hope that they will apply these values beyond graduation, throughout their professional and personal lives.”

Throughout tax season, students firm up their basic knowledge of federal tax rules and regulations; learn to interview taxpayers to obtain critical information to prepare an accurate tax return and practice using tax preparation software. Students gain leadership and logistical skills as they have an active role in weekly site setup, operations management and planning for continuous improvement. Students develop professional skills through client interaction, practice ethical behavior and exhibit the responsibilities inherent in the preparation of individual income tax returns. By working with a culturally and economically diverse population, students become aware of the benefits and rewards of civic engagement and providing valuable services to their community.

Tax help is available to anyone in the community with an income of $62,000 or less at the Boise Public Library main branch. See the Department of Accountancy Volunteer Income Tax Assistant (VITA) webpage for dates and times and what to bring with you.