Volunteers give free tax assistance


Mason Hood

Keisha Rivera (Left) and Michael Amwoga help community members file tax returns for free.

Tomi Brunton, Associate Editor

Volunteers on campus will complete students’ tax returns for free until April 8.

The program, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, will offer free tax preparation to students, faculty, staff and members of the community who made less than $60,000 in 2022.

“It’s a really good program that seems to help people,” Michael Amwoga, a third-year professional bookkeeping student and a volunteer in the program, said. “I know it’s not going to be super easy, but we have a lot of people there that I know are going to be able to support us when we get stuck.”

The nationwide VITA program has run at AACC for about a decade.

Oksana Fisher, a business professor and the program’s coordinator, said the program is beneficial for both taxpayers and volunteers.

“It is a really great way to give back to the community, and also it is a good opportunity for our current students to practice their skills and get … real-life work experience,” Fisher said. “They are really the ones that meet the clients, sit down with them, complete the … paperwork and the return. … So it’s a really great opportunity for our students as well.”

Yen Truong, a volunteer in the program who graduated from AACC in 2021 with associate degrees in business administration and financial accounting, said she works with VITA to “help people.”

“VITA is a free program, so it’s [a] good rate for low-income people,” Truong said. “[They] don’t have a lot of money to file that tax.”

Amwoga, who is the SGA vice president of finance, agreed.

“I hope a lot of people in the community and our students … get to benefit from it,” Amwoga said. “I look forward to contributing.”

Fisher said participating in the program is “very rewarding.”

“It’s a really great way to help the community,” Fisher said. “[We’re] trying to, you know, help them the best way we can, by preparing an accurate return for them.”

To make an appointment for the tax service, go to https://aaccvitataxprepappointments.as.me/schedule.php. Participants can drop off their 2022 financial information in Careers Room 326 and wait while the tax preparers work or pick up their completed tax forms later.