The Trinfo VITA Tax Clinic is staffed primarily by Trinity College students trained to prepare basic tax returns through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Students must successfully complete a two-day training to become IRS certified tax preparers. In the video above, Professor Serena Laws and Shawn Olstein ’22 discuss the pilot year of the program and how students can get involved for Spring 2020.
I learned the sheer complexity of the tax system, but also the struggles that low-income families face that I wasn’t aware of. So just understanding that they might have four different jobs and they’re making nothing, essentially. And then you throw in a kid and rent… I just didn’t understand before.” – Tommy Peduto ’21
Student Tax Preparers are generally also enrolled in the course “Tax Policy and Inequality in Hartford,” (POLS 310) which meets weekly to provide academic context for what students see in the clinic, as well as additional training.
“This course gave me a better understanding of the tax code, specifically how taxes are filed, what all the forms are, how refunds work… Before this I wasn’t exposed to the process and I feel like it’s going to be helpful in the future for all of us.” – Mary Meza Celis ’22
If you are interested in learning more about the course or how to become a volunteer tax preparer, please email Serena Laws firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Professor Laws will hold an info session Thursday 11/7 12:15-1:15 in Raether Library Room 119 to talk more about this Spring 2020 Community Learning Course (see more courses here).