Fifty volunteers from the Western Michigan University’s branch of the national accounting honor society Beta Alpha Psi will receive some real-world accounting experience while providing valuable community service.
The students are teaming up with members of the National Association for Black Accountants to help international students with their U.S. taxes.
The students have received training from the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and will prepare federal and state income tax returns for international students during February, March and April, Cari Burke, graduate student pursuing a Master of Science degree in accounting and member of the Beta Alpha Psi accounting fraternity, told the campus newspaper Western Herald.
Other than the IRS training, tax preparers must also an individual tax accounting course and receive supplementary training, the Herald reported.
"Every person involved at WMU is a member of the community here," she said. "We're doing this to give back to the community and help those people who aren't familiar with the tax system here."
Since many of the students receiving the help don’t have parents in the country that can claim them as dependants, they are forced to file on their own, Burke said
"We aren't able to do returns for those students who have e-trade accounts, businesses or any other income they received from outside of Michigan," Burke said.
"Our fraternity is based heavily around community service," Burke said. "We've sponsored events for the American Heart Association and raised money for the AIDS walk last year."