ODU Student Volunteers Help More Than 400 Taxpayers Complete Returns

VITA Group


Columbus, OH Ohio Dominican University’s (ODU’s) Accounting students and faculty prepared 418 state and federal income tax returns, and processed $355,754 in refunds during ODU’s eighth annual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. ODU’s program offers the only fully bilingual VITA site in Central Ohio. 

This year, student volunteers included 18 traditional and eight adult ODU students, and eight students from Bishop Watterson High School (BWHS). The high school students earned one college credit hour and accrued service learning hours for participating in the program. 

The program was offered on Wednesdays and Saturdays, Feb. 22 – April 12.  

“I’m extremely proud of our Accounting students and their dedicated, determined and selfless work,” said Bob Osborne, ODU assistant professor of Accounting and VITA program advisor. “This was a record-breaking year for our program. Our 34 volunteers was the largest VITA class in our program’s history; we prepared a record-high 418 tax returns; and a single student prepared 25 tax returns. More importantly, our students used their knowledge and skills to serve real people with real tax needs.” 

VITA offers free tax help to people with low-to-moderate income (generally $51,000 and below). Through this program, ODU Accounting students offer assistance with special credits, including earned income tax credit, child tax credit and credit for the elderly. 

ODU faculty and students have helped prepare 2,133 tax returns since 2007. 

The Internal Revenue Service certifies as tax preparers the participating Accounting students, usually juniors or seniors. Under the supervision of faculty members who are certified public accountants, students prepare federal, state, local school and city income tax returns. In addition to free tax return preparation assistance, the program offers free electronic filing (e-filing). 

Ohio Dominican University is a comprehensive, four-year, private, liberal arts and master’s institution, founded in 1911 in the Catholic Dominican tradition. The University has approximately 2,600 students and offers undergraduate degrees in 45 majors as well as 11 graduate degree programs. Ohio Dominican uses a student-centered approach, with a commitment to quality teaching and learning.