Each year, members of the UAB Chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) volunteer for United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which helps families making less than $49,000 a year with their taxes. VITA is cosponsored by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
NABA student-volunteers work in teams to ensure accuracy. They are trained to secure the individual earned income tax credit for eligible taxpayers. This tax credit provides refund money to qualified low-income earners even if they do not pay income taxes throughout the year.
“In addition to meeting people living in the community, VITA provides students with hands-on experience in income-tax preparation,” says senior volunteer James Clayton “Clay” Simpson. “It also gives you a good feeling to know you’re helping families in need.”
“Everyone deserves to have an accurate tax return filed on their behalf, and our students take a lot of pride in providing this valuable service to the Birmingham community,” adds UAB accounting instructor Beth Springer.
“VITA allows students to give back to the community and gain experience applying what they learn in tax class, in addition to receiving training through the IRS and United Way,” says 2009 accounting graduate Jewel White.
Last year, the United Way VITA program, as a whole, secured more than $2.8 million in tax refunds for greater Birmingham residents.