The basketball season is over, but Utah State Eastern point guard Barnell “BJ” Davis is an accounting student who prepares income tax returns for students, the elderly, and those unable to afford it.
He will prepare returns through April 15. Eastern students from Springville and Ephraim will also assist in the program at their respective home towns. The service is free.
Students on campus have been doing taxes for low-income families, seniors and students since 1982, the first educational institution to do so.
“Eastern was the first, the flagship for college VITA in preparing long-hand, and now computer and electronic filing,” said associate professor Henning Olsen. “We are now in our 39th year in preparing taxes.”
The class, BUSN 2151, is a two-credit class that gives the students real-world experience and basic finance knowledge. In effect, the class is a first accounting job and Olsen said it could translate into professions in accounting, public relations, or tax preparation.
The software program used, TaxSlayer, is sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service and students must pass an IRS exam to qualify as a tax preparer.
It isn’t only students who help with the preparations; residents of the community also pitch in. Linda Jensen comes in each year to help and make sure that students understand what they’re doing.
Students who pay out of pocket tuition and fees need to have their tax return prepared so they can receive the education credit. Refunds can be emailed, sent to a bank by direct deposit, or to a residential address.
How does one take advantage of this incredible offer? Eastern students are eligible and encouraged to take their tax forms into the Reeves Building accounting lab, room 130. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday and Wednesday.
Ask for BJ.