North Central College - Naperville, IL

Student volunteers train to help with taxes

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Two North Central female students, from left, Emilie Sauer and Meghan Gash
Two North Central female students, from left, Emilie Sauer and Meghan Gash

Feb. 11, 2011—North Central students are participating in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, providing free federal and state income tax assistance for the elderly, non-English speaking individuals, and low-income families and individuals earning less than $49,000.

This year, a record 25 accounting majors are in training and working to pass a rigorous Internal Revenue Service (IRS) exam and become VITA-certified. The IRS supports the VITA program so low-income taxpayers receive benefits available to them through the Tax Code. Alli Purcell Hayes, assistant professor of accounting, is overseeing North Central’s program.

Some of the student volunteers are part of the ACC 430 course, taught by Hayes, and are required to become VITA-certified. The students who choose to volunteer with the VITA program are awarded service learning credit and are required to submit a reflective journal submission of their VITA experience. Those not connected with the course volunteer on their own. The IRS provides the training materials, but Hayes provides all the practical training in correlation with the ACC 430 course or one-on-one training for other volunteers going through certification.

North Central students will work in two-person teams at the Naperville Public Library from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, Feb. 26 and March 5, 12 and 26.

The VITA program in Naperville is initiated by the Notre Dame Alumni Club of DuPage County, which publicizes the free tax services by placing notices at the library and in local newspapers. At each of the Saturday sessions, alumni club members interview clients as they arrive to verify their earnings and check for appropriate identification and proper tax information to complete the tax filings.

North Central College offers an undergraduate degree in accounting with concentrations in the certified public accountant (CPA), certified management accountant (CMA) or corporate tracks, as well as a five-year integrated accounting CPA/M.B.A. track.

Founded in 1861 and celebrating its Sesquicentennial in 2011, North Central College is an independent, comprehensive college of the liberal arts and sciences that offers more than 55 undergraduate majors and graduate programming in six areas. Located in the Historic District of Naperville, Illinois—rated by Money magazine as among the nation’s “Best Places to Live”—North Central College is just 30 minutes from Chicago’s Loop. With more than 2,900 undergraduate and graduate students, North Central College is committed to academic excellence, a climate that emphasizes leadership, ethics, values and service, a curriculum that balances job-related knowledge with a liberal arts foundation and a caring environment with small classes. Visit to learn more.