tax form from

Towson students help low-income families prepare for tax season

The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program can be a tremendous time- and money-saver for individuals and families.

Through the program, individuals with incomes below $54,000, those with disabilities and others receive free assistance in preparing their federal and state income tax filings with the help of trained volunteers.

This year, and for the past several years, CBE students have dedicated thousands of hours to helping Maryland taxpayers complete hundreds of tax returns at a student-managed and -staffed VITA site on campus.

Jinnan Chen is a site manager at the TU location and helps train and manage student volunteers involved in the program. He considers his work beneficial to both himself and others.

“If you really want to help your community or the people around you, … try to use your knowledge to help them get their tax returns done,” Chen said.

Matthew Shillingsford, president of the Towson University Society of Accounting and a senior studying accounting, works as a Tax Preparer and said the benefit of helping others prepare their taxes goes way beyond the practical experience.

“You get training and you get IRS certification to do tax preparation,”  said Shillingsford. “[Us volunteers] get experience and we’re giving back to the community at the same time.”

Learn more about CBE’s VITA program.