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LSU Law students prepare more than 150 tax returns during VITA program

A group of students pose for a photo with a whiteboard in the backgroundLSU Law’s Tax Law Society and Public Interest Law Society (PILS) hosted a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program at the Law Center and helped more than 150 tax returns for lower-income taxpayers,

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) is a service performed by volunteers with support from the IRS. VITA sites offer free tax help to a variety of lower-income tax payers (incomes less than about $53,000 per year). The Tax Law Society has hosted a VITA site for a number of years aimed at assisting foreign students, faculty, and others in the LSU community prepare their taxes.

The more than 150 returns prepared this year marks a significant increase from previous years.

“The number of returns prepared is a real testament to the students for several reasons,” LSU Law professor Elizabeth Carter said. “They had very little faculty assistance this year because the timing conflicted with the Tax Moot Court competition. The government shutdown delayed our ability to get the program started. Finally, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the TCJA) added new complexities to an already complicated area of the law.”

Carter credited the officers of the Tax Law Society – Beverly Perkins (President), Riley Frank (Vice-President), and Victoria Heyer (VITA Chair) – with making this year’s VITA program a huge success.

“These three women worked incredibly hard to make this program work,” she said.