Washburn VITA Clinic Helps 700 Topekans File Taxes

The Washburn Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Clinic had another record year helping the Topeka community. Forty-eight students from Washburn Law and the Washburn School of Business volunteered 1,100 hours to file about 500 returns, helping 700 Topekans bring back more than $700,000 in refunds and tax credits.

The VITA program is an initiative sponsored by the IRS to prepare and file tax returns for low-income taxpayers. VITA was founded in the 1970s and relies on partnerships with non-profit organizations, city governments, and public universities to operate each VITA site.

The Washburn VITA Clinic is unique in that it is organized and run entirely by students. The clinic is sponsored by TEPA (Tax and Estate Planning Association) and overseen by the TEPA vice president and VITA co-directors.

These students serve as Site Coordinators for the Washburn VITA site, and are directly responsible for training volunteers, setting policies and procedures, and ensuring our VITA site complies with all IRS standards.

Site Coordinators of the 2019 Washburn VITA Clinic were Washburn Law students Nellie Betzen, Matthew Collett, Clarissa Harvey, Anson Tullis, and Kasie VanDonge.

Volunteers get hands-on experience in client interviewing and management, engage in problem solving, and must learn to communicate complex tax concepts in ways clients will understand.

This program is a great service to the Topeka community and brings invaluable practical experience to Washburn Law students.