They’re not looking to push H & R Block off the block, but nearly 30 Catholic University law students are now trained to provide some of the same tax preparation assistance as the big boys, thanks to a special program offered by the Columbus School of Law.
Now in its second year, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program attracted 27 students to a Jan. 18 all day training session, where the volunteers were taught the basics of assisting elderly, disabled or immigrant clients with preparing accurate and acceptable tax returns.
Paul Kurth, director of Columbus Community Legal Service’s Consumer Protection Project, conducted the training with the volunteer assistance of CUA Law staff members. He is conducting additional training sessions through January to prep students to take an online test to become IRS-certified, which is required to become pro bono tax preparers for low-and-middle-income D.C. and Maryland residents.
In addition to their tax training, students also picked up tips on how to greet clients and perform initial screenings to determine what level of assistance is needed. Students receive pro bono credit for participation.
Any student interested in learning more about pro bono tax preparation for underserved populations is encouraged to contact Paul Kurth, Kurth@law.edu
for more information.