April 19, 2016

Accounting Students Offer Free Tax Preparation Services

SPOKANE, Wash. – For the third year in a row, Gonzaga University accounting students working with the IRS and United Way have helped generate more than $1 million in refunds through their free income tax return preparation efforts for low- and middle-income Spokane residents. Students from Eastern Washington University and Whitworth University joined the efforts.

For this year’s filing season, the United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site, which was staffed by 84 IRS-certified Zags, filed 840 electronic and paper returns and generated $1.04 million in total refunds. Last year’s efforts resulted in the filing of 813 returns generating more than $1.08 million in refunds. This year’s effort included a total of more than 971 hours of volunteer service by GU students to a total of 981 clients.

VITA provides Gonzaga students the opportunity to put into action many of the concepts they learn in class while providing a community service. Many VITA clients would have had difficulty obtaining much-needed refunds if such services were not offered. To volunteer, Gonzaga students attended two full days of training over a holiday weekend and then passed a certification exam.

For more information, please contact Andrew Brajcich, assistant professor of accounting at Gonzaga, at brajcich@gonzaga.edu or (509) 313-7053.