IRS Lauds Tarleton VITA Program for Low-income Taxpayer Assistance

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STEPHENVILLE — The IRS has recognized Tarleton State University’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program with its Award for Excellence for helping qualifying low-income citizens receive their earned income tax credits.

The award was presented by the Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service Shareholder Partnership, Education and Communication to VITA manager Dan Puhl, who shared the award with colleague Kyle Post.

Taxpayers with income up to $60,000 are eligible for free tax return preparation and e-filing through VITA. Twenty-four Tarleton students and two staff members provided the service in February and March to 57 qualifying taxpayers, who received $50,186 in EITC and $140,141 in refunds.

Puhl, an accounting Instructor at the university’s Waco campus, said each member of the VITA team spent dozens of hours to become certified by the IRS and at least five hours in Saturday preparation sessions.

“This award was a team effort by Tarleton State University and each of our volunteers,” he said. He especially cited Dr. Derrill Watson, head of the Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics, and Dr. Chris Shao, Dean of the College of Business, for their support.

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