Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Good Experience for Resume: VITA Information Session


Hi business majors:

We need your help during the Spring 2015 semester.  And you will also benefit!

Freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors of the Charlton College of Business, we need you to assist Southcoast area families in the preparation their 2015 Federal Tax Returns.   VITA (volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program is a way that you can get involved, learn more about federal taxation, pick up some real world experience (for that resume) and make a difference.  This is an activity that creates wonderful learning opportunities beyond the classroom. VITA is a nationally recognized program - developed and supported by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

VITA has two main parts to it: 1) A free IRS training program that results in the student being awarded a certificate (for passing a tax test) and 2) A volunteer component where students work with clients to prepare tax returns during the 2015 tax season (Feb. and March). For income tax training which will include self-study during the holiday break , we will soon be accepting CCB students as volunteers into the VITA program, a federal income tax return assistance program.  The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is a cooperative effort by the Internal Revenue Service and many individual states, including Massachusetts, to provide income tax assistance to low-income individuals, handicapped or elderly. Volunteers trained by the Internal Revenue Service prepare basic income tax returns free of charge at VITA sites. Our local site is at the CEDC in New Bedford; only a few miles from campus.

Ever hear this?  "To whom much is given, much is expected."  Or "Pay it forward." Think about how you might use your talents to give something back to our community. You have much to give and you will gain valuable experience and other possible benefits.

LEARN MORE!  Please join us for one of the information sessions. There will be two informational meetings regarding Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)  program on November 19 at:

2: PM

3:00 PM

the first floor, large conference room (Room 115) of the Charlton College of Business.

Brian Pastori of the New Bedford CEDC (host of the VITA program) , Diedre Healy, some student volunteers and I will be present to explain the VITA program, the training involved, and potential benefits.  Have all your questions answered and see what this program is about. 

NOTE: IF YOU CAN'T MAKE THE INFO MEETING AND STILL WANT TO BE PART OF VITA - NO PROBLEM!  Email Brian Pastori ( and Dierdre Healy ( and tell them about your interest, they will keep you on a mailing list that should provide updates on the program, training, etc.

VITA is a program that helps our local residents in two ways: it gives them assistance in preparing their tax returns and it helps them take advantage of the earned income credit - a bit of an economic boost that can help these folks make ends meet.  For a student, this is a great way to give back to the community, create a significant resume item that shows civic engagement/community service and a desire to learn something new (and practical), and allows you to achieve validate your tax knowledge via an IRS exam.  For some UMD students, work study and Connections program requirements can be satisfied through VITA. This is also an excellent way to learn outside of the classroom. There may also be one or two internship positions available through the CEDC - the organization that runs our VITA program.

However, the real motivating factor for your participation in this program is not financial but rather, the opportunity to help some people who need your help, while at the same time learning a great deal about federal income tax and the workings of a great nonprofit like the CEDC.  The VITA program infuses thousands of dollars back into the economy through the earned income tax credit - an opportunity that many low-income taxpayers fail to take advantage of.  You can help some folks get the tax credit and put a few extra dollars into their pockets. 

For your information, the CEDC's mission is as follows:

CEDC hosts the VITA program in New Bedford. The Community Economic Development Center of Southeastern Massachusetts seeks to create a more just local economy by building bridges to resources, networks, and cooperative action for adults, youth, aspiring entrepreneurs, working families, grassroots organizations, and immigrant workers members of our community. The work of the CEDC is created and directed by the people who will benefit most from its success. CEDC challenges economic and political institutions and policies that exclude full participation and access to power by all members of our community.

The VITA program is open to all students but is particularly interesting to accounting and finance students who might want to pursue careers in tax planning or personal financial planning.  Free training is provided and all majors are welcome.  You will be provided with income tax training (options for an in class session in late January 2015 or a self-study option) so that you can pass an IRS exam and move onto help families who need your help.  This is a great service to the people of the city of New Bedford.  We have gotten great feedback from the students who completed VITA last year. Many accounting majors have worked in VITA but keep in mind that all majors are welcome to participate.

If you are looking for a great service learning project, looking for a great resume item, or simply want to give something back, come to one of the info sessions.

If you have questions, please email me.  We are also interested in getting student clubs and associations within our business college to consider getting their members involved with VITA.

Professor Michael Griffin