This spring, the Collat School of Business is introducing a new service-learning course, Taxation and the Working Poor (AC490), designed for students to explore the objectives and consequences of various aspects of the U.S. federal tax system in relation to the working poor. In addition to in-class instruction, students will participate in free income tax return preparation for families that qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, the federal government’s largest anti-poverty program to support low-to-moderate income working families.

taxesThe course will blend in-class instruction and discussion, tax preparation training, completion of a tax preparation test and tax preparation at a campus-based or community-based site through the Save First initiative of Impact America or through the United Way of Central Alabama.

The course is open to both business and non-business majors and will count as meeting the experiential learning requirement for the Collat School of Business curriculum. No prior knowledge of tax or accounting is required. The course is 50 hours with 30 hours dedicated to volunteer service. Collat School of Business Instructor Eddie Nabors will lead the course.

"Our students will gain some tax knowledge, but more importantly, they will learn how hard the 'working poor' work to provide for their families and how the public perceptions of these families are incorrect," says Nabors.

Students will study perceptions of those living in poverty and various business practices that prey on the working poor, including payday loans and exorbitant fees for simple tax returns."“Hopefully, our students' own perceptions will be changed and they will be more sensitive to the challenges faced by these families and be more socially and politically active as adults," says Nabors.

For more information on the course, please contact Eddie Nabors at eonabors@uab.edu