March 30- Stetson University College of Law students volunteer to help prepare taxes

Contact Frank Klim
Executive Director of Communications
(727) 562-7889

Gulfport, Fla. – Most people try to avoid W-2s, 1040s or anything having to do with filing taxes. But for the last two months, 40 Stetson University College of Law students have volunteered their time to help low- to moderate-income individuals in Pinellas County find all the credits and deductions they deserve.

Stetson has partnered with a coalition of about 30 organizations including the Internal Revenue Service and the American Bar Association to educate tax filers about the earned income tax credit, to provide financial literacy training and for free tax preparation.

“This filing season, Stetson law students have prepared tax returns for hundreds of grateful people throughout St. Petersburg. The skills these students learned will last a long time, as will the memories of providing a needed service to so many,” said Michael DeWese, tax specialist with the IRS.

The College of Law’s efforts have been spearheaded by student Jeff Bauer, who directs the ABA Law Student Division’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program for the 22 schools in the 5th Circuit. He recently received the division’s Certificate of Appreciation for his exceptional work with VITA programs.

“The VITA program is extraordinarily valuable,” Bauer said. “Low and moderate income taxpayers learn about significant tax credits which they would otherwise not likely understand or even know existed.”

The students will continue to volunteer a combined 60-70 hours a week until the April 15 filing deadline.