Important Tax Information Enclosed

Students Assist Disadvantaged Taxpayers through Annual VITA Program

ANNVILLE, PA (04/13/2018) Community-minded Lebanon Valley College students majoring or minoring in accounting have assisted those less fortunate in completing their taxes since 2008, helping low-income, elderly, and otherwise disadvantaged taxpayers retrieve more than $600,000 in tax returns in 2016 and 2017 alone. Devin Brown, a senior double major in accounting and business administration, is one of these philanthropic Dutchmen.

In addition to helping people complete their taxes at no cost, Brown earned his Quality Reviewer certification-an advanced certification through the Internal Revenue Service-to also be qualified to review and certify the work of his fellow volunteers. Noelle Brossman, a 2014 LVC graduate who also worked with VITA as a student, now oversees the program and serves as a second Quality Reviewer.

"It feels good to see the faces of the community members we help when they learn there is no cost," said Brown. "It's especially rewarding in those cases when we get to tell them they will receive a refund."

Brown came to LVC as an accounting major even though he had never had a course in the subject and wasn't entirely sure of his career path. Fortunately, he said, his major found him after he took his first accounting course with Tami Barton, associate professor of accounting. "Professor Barton made me love accounting," he said.

In addition to donating about 10 hours each week to VITA the past three tax seasons, Brown has participated in three other internships, with a fourth scheduled this summer. He's completed internships with the Annville-Cleona School District, Hershey Entertainment and Resorts, and Simon Lever, and has one lined up with Brown Shultz Sheridan & Fritz in Camp Hill starting in May.

Brown is leaning toward the audit side of accounting, and has already earned 113 of the 150 credit hours required to sit for the CPA exam.

"I will always have fond memories of participating in the VITA Program," noted Brown. "It's a great way to give back to the community and school, and I learned a lot in the process."

What is VITA?

VITA is a program through which LVC accounting students assist low-income, elderly, and otherwise disadvantaged taxpayers in completing their federal, state, and local taxes. The LVC VITA program is connected with the Money in Your Pocket Coalition, which ties the College's program with several other tax preparation organizations throughout the country.