Kogod School of Business students are currently volunteering to help local taxpayers file their returns.
Through the Internal Revenue Service’s April 15 tax filing deadline, 26 Kogod students will volunteer their time to help people file and get the most out of their tax returns through Community Tax Aid Inc., a nonprofit organization based in D.C. The students took a two-credit course in which they learned to use the tax program “Tax Wise” and now offer assistance at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library on G Street.
Charles Thompson Jr., a junior in Kogod, said he began volunteering in February and helps four or five people during one four-and-a-half-hour shift.
“I think it’s an incredible program,” he said. “To be able to help people with taxes is just incredible.”
Thompson said his most memorable experience was helping a man receive a larger tax return than he ever thought he could.
Community Tax Aid Inc. offers the assistance program free of charge. Although the program targets low-income populations, anyone can ask for help, according to Thompson.
“Anyone can come in for help,” he said. “I’ve had clients from both D.C. and Maryland.”
The organization operates at several sites in D.C.; Prince George’s and Montgomery counties in Maryland; and in the city of Alexandria and Arlington County in Virginia. Each year, 250 trained volunteers help 2,800 taxpayers through the organization’s service. In 2007 alone, these taxpayers received more than $2.8 million in federal and state refunds, according to the organization’s Web site.
AU students who wish to volunteer and have completed their sophomore year can take the pass/fail course AU’s Washington Initiative - a Kogod service learning program - and Community Tax Aid Inc. offer together. Participants complete their training during three sessions early in the semester, Thompson said.
The volunteers make sure someone is at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library every day of the week from January to April 15. In addition to Kogod students, volunteers include Washington College of Law students, students from other area universities and other local volunteers, according to Thompson.