Accounting students at Greenville Technical College make sizable impact through VITA program

March 2, 2022

Students in an advanced accounting class at Greenville Technical College prepare tax returns for the community through the United Way Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program each Spring Semester. Through the effort, which began in 2012, students complete IRS Advanced Certification and tax software training during Fall Semester and several weeks before tax season begins during Spring Semester, they complete process training.

Since 2012, 2,618 returns have been filed, saving those served $380,050 in tax preparation fees and allowing for state and federal refunds of more than $1.9 million. To achieve these results, students have contributed 3,247 volunteer hours, and faculty have spent 1,389 volunteer hours overseeing the project.

United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program provides free income tax assistance to thousands of individuals and families with a household income of $60,000 or less. IRS-trained and certified volunteers serve at 40 locations across the Upstate to help participants receive all eligible tax credits and deductions.

“The VITA program is the perfect opportunity for students to gain real-world experience as they fill a genuine need,” said Andy Welchel, department head for Accounting. “We continue to support this effort year after year because students are able to apply their expertise, and they see the impact of their efforts on many in the community.”