Accounting students help community with tax assistance at VITA clinic.

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  • Marquette accounting students participate in VITA clinic to help low-income individuals file taxes for free.
  • Students gain hands-on experience and develop leadership skills through the program.

Tackling taxes: Accounting students at Marquette University participate in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, where they prepare income tax returns for free on behalf of individuals who cannot afford an accountant. The program, in partnership with Milwaukee Area Technical College, provides valuable learning opportunities for students, allowing them to apply classroom knowledge to real-life experiences. The VITA clinic not only helps low-income individuals but also serves as a platform for students to develop leadership skills and gain practical experience.

Assistant professor Rachel Detert supervises students at the clinic, ensuring accuracy and guiding their learning process. Students must complete a tax preparation course before volunteering, where they assist clients, including MATC students and retirees, in filing their taxes. They help identify tax benefits such as the Wisconsin Homestead Credit, providing guidance that these individuals might not otherwise receive.

The hands-on, community-oriented learning approach of the VITA clinic is a hallmark of Marquette’s accounting department, known for producing accounting leaders. The department’s strong relationships with firms of all sizes and experiential learning opportunities, such as the VITA clinic, contribute to the high career outcomes of its graduates. Students like Maria Jaramillo, who completed internships at PwC, benefit from the practical experience gained at the clinic, enhancing their resumes and soft skills.

The VITA clinic not only prepares students for their careers but also allows them to give back to the community. Graduates of the program go on to work at prestigious firms with the knowledge and skills acquired through their participation in the program.

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